11/24/2017 09:07 EST | Updated 11/24/2017 10:20 EST

Efforts to reopen Highway 1 through B.C.'s Fraser Valley still on track

VANCOUVER — Clean-up efforts continue in British Columbia's eastern Fraser Valley as crews work to reopen Highway 1 after sludge and debris covered the route early Thursday.

The Transportation Ministry expects traffic will be rolling again this afternoon on the westbound lanes of the route, about 120 kilometres east of Vancouver.

The DriveBC website, which releases road information for the ministry, estimates it will be Saturday afternoon before the eastbound lanes of the highway can be reopened.

Geotechnical engineers were called in to assess the stability of the slope above the highway and completed their review on Thursday, allowing crews with heavy equipment to begin clearing away a large amount of debris.

A detour remains in effect via highways 9 and 7 but travellers were reporting significant delays.

The slides occurred after recent heavy snowfall and drenching rain, followed by unseasonable warmth, swelling area waterways.

The River Forecast Centre is maintaining high stream-flow advisories for much of the southern B.C. coast, including the Chilliwack and Coquihalla rivers and their tributaries in the Fraser Valley.