Poor conditions close certain N. Alta. highways
Published Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:51AM MST
Last Updated Friday, January 18, 2013 8:00AM MST
Police in communities surrounding the capital region are warning drivers to avoid driving on highways altogether due to deteriorating road conditions, and the province has taken the step of closing a number of problem routes.
Boyle, Lac La Biche and Wood Buffalo RCMP announced late Thursday that Highway 63 had been closed between the Highway 55 junction, and Secondary Highway 881.
In addition, Highway 55 has also been shut down to traffic between Highway 63 and 881.
Drivers that were already traveling through the affected areas were being re-routed Thursday evening, and reminded to travel with caution in the area.
RCMP said road conditions would be re-assessed Friday morning.
RCMP throughout central and northern Alberta said officers were busy throughout much of the day Thursday dealing with road conditions brought on by deteriorating weather conditions.
Officers from the Boyle RCMP detachment were called to a collision on Highway 63, south of Mariana Lake at about 10:15 a.m.
Emergency crews arrived to find a semi-trailer unit travelling north had collided with a southbound pickup truck.
Police said two people had to be transported by ground ambulance – one in serious condition, the other with minor injuries.
The road was closed for a time, but was open to traffic again hours later.
Lac La Biche RCMP said heavy snow fall and current temperatures had affected road conditions on a number of highways, including Highway 63, Highway 881, Highway 36, Highway 55 east and west, and secondary Highways 858 and 663.
Early Thursday afternoon, police said officers had responded to about 30 collisions within an hour – including vehicles sliding into the ditch, fender-benders and jack-knifed semi-trucks.
No serious injuries were reported as a result of the crashes.
Visibility has also been reported to be an issue for drivers.
Valleyview RCMP said a section of Highway 43 west of Valleyview was extremely icy.
Police said the section of highway was an undivided, 40 kilometre stretch – and two semi-trucks had slid into the ditch near the Young’s Point turnoff.