New webcams help Chilliwack drivers ‘know before they go’

Nine new highway webcams in the Chilliwack area are added to the existing three

A new webcam at the north end of the Rosedale bridge shows traffic backed up following an accident on Friday.

Chilliwack motorists have nine new ways to check highway conditions before hitting the road.

New highway webcams were activated this week at both the Prest Road and Annis Road overpasses. In addition, a highway cam is now posted at the north end of the Rosedale Bridge on Highway 9.

The new cameras, which provide updated still-shots every two minutes, bring to a total of 12 in the Chilliwack-Agassiz area. They were part of 18 new highway webcams activated by the transportation ministry just in time for winter.

A total of 30 new webcams will be added to the network this year, the ministry says, bringing the number of webcam images available online to over 250. All are expected to be installed and operating by winter, giving motorists a real-time view of weather and road conditions.

The cameras are part of a series of tools available to motorists on the transportation ministry’s DriveBC website (www.drivebc.ca).

The goal, says Mary Polak, minister of transportation and infrastructure, is to help motorists “know before they go.”

Said Polak: “Our DriveBC webcams are an invaluable resource for anyone travelling our provincial highways, and these new webcams and features will provide motorists with additional tools to plan their trip and travel safely.”

DriveBC also features a Route Planner, which has been upgraded to take into consideration any delays, road closures and border waits along the way. In addition to showing them as icons on the map, the turn-by-turn directions include the information on any highway message signs associated with that route, and webcam images to give motorists a full picture.

There are mobile (tablet and smart phone) versions of DriveBC’s Route Planner, too. They provide the same information in the turn-by-turn directions seen on a desktop, and use geo-location to fill in the start point. (The map has not been included for smart phones due to their display limitations.)

DriveBC was launched in 2005 and is the government of B.C.’s most popular website. DriveBC receives an average of 2.9 million visits per month.

The other Chilliwack-area highway cams are located at the Evans Road overpass, Bridal Falls and at the junction of Highway 7 and Highway 9 in Agassiz.