A screen grab from the DriveBC website shows a vehicle travelling on Highway 3 west of Princeton on Friday afternoon. The road has re-opened to essential travel only, along with Highway 7, providing restoration of a highway link between the Interior and the Lower Mainland.

A highway link between the Interior and the Lower Mainland has been re-established but its use is limited to essential travel only.

Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton was re-opened on Friday, as was Highway 7 west of Hope.

"This will re-establish a vital link allowing for the movement of essential goods and services to and from the Lower Mainland," Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said during a government press conference.

Only essential travel is permitted, however. The highways are open for commercial transport trucks, refrigerated trucks, grocery deliveries, mail and courier vehicles, road repair crews, and emergency vehicles.
"This will not be travel as we'd expect under normal conditions," Fleming said.
Checkpoints will be in place and the prohibition against non-essential travel will be enforced, the government says. People who've been cut off from their principal residence can use the highways to get home, Fleming said.

There will be three sections of alternating single-lane traffic on Highway 3 east of Hope, and sections of alternating single-lane traffic on Highway 7 west of Hope.

"Delays will be significant, given the amount of essential goods to be delivered and the many people eager to complete their trips home," a government release states.

Highways 1, 3, 7, and 5 had been closed as a result of heavy rains and mudslides earlier this week. Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada) and Highway 5 (the Coquihalla between Merritt and Hope) remain closed with serious damage and there is no forecast re-opening date.

Meanwhile, the government has imposed a 30-litre maximum fill-up for most drivers in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.

Drivers of essential vehicles, such as commercial transport trucks, grocery delivery vehicles, and refrigerated vehicles, have unrestricted access to gas and diesel.

"These steps will keep commercial traffic moving, stabilize our supply chains and make sure everyone gets home safely," Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said in a release.

"We are asking people to limit their fuel consumption and vehicle travel at this time," he said.

The order, limiting members of the general public from buying more than 30 litres per trip to a gas station, will be in place at least until Dec. 1.

"We have a steady supply of gas to support all our essential vehicles and we will get through these restrictions together by staying calm, only buying what we need and looking out for each other," Farnworth said.

"These measures are necessary during temporary shortages as work is underway to re-establish B.C.'s fuel supply," he said.