Highway reopens with possible delays after mudslide near Heather Mountain closes Trans-Canada between Revelstoke and Golden

The East Gate Landslide path has let go onto the Trans-Canada Highway on Saturday afternoon, blocking it until Sunday morning. A travel advisory remains in effect and motorists may experience delays in the coming days.

Mud and debris starts to flow from the north side of the mountain, sometimes ending up on the Trans-Canada Highway. File Photo: Don Roy photo courtesy of Parks Canada

The Trans-Canada Highway has reopened Sunday morning after a mudslide closed the highway between Revelstoke and Golden Saturday afternoon.

However, transportation authorities have posted a travel advisory for the highway between Revelstoke and Golden. “Due to increased mudflow activity travellers are advised to expect delays during daytime hours and possible closures during nighttime hours,” the advisory states. “Additional traffic interruptions may be required to manage mudflow activity.”

Crews and equipment will be working on the site, and there may be ongoing delays.

Original story, May 5

A mudslide near Heather Mountain has closed the Trans-Canada Highway between Revelstoke and Golden Saturday afternoon. The route is not expected to open until 6 a.m. on Sunday, May 6.

The landslide area in question is known as the East Gate Landslide path, and is located near the eastern gate of Glacier national park.

It’s an historic mudslide that was reactivated in 1997 when fault lines were reactivated, leading to a crater-like section of exposed mud and rock. Mudslide activity over the years has carved away at the north side of the mountain. Since then, it has send mud and debris flows across the Trans-Canada highway numerous times, usually during spring melt.

In this file photo, crews work to clear a mudslide at the East Gate Landslide area. File Photo: Don Roy photo courtesy Parks Canada

The debris flows can range from small, manageable flows of water and mud, to torrents of mud, trees, rocks and other forest debris that close the highway.

Over the years, Parks Canada has installed mitigation infrastructure aimed at stemming the seasonal flow. They include catchment basins at the foot of two mud flow paths. Parks Canada staff also monitor the site and clear out debris that gathers in the catchment basins.

Some years, managing the flows means only intermittent, 20-minute delays. Other years, the slide can overwhelm the highway, leading to prolonged closures as crews clean up the mess.