The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that three years after work began, the conversion to a modern four-lane highway of the last two-lane section of the Trans-Canada Highway in the Kicking Horse Canyon east of Golden is nearing completion.
“The Trans-Canada Highway in the Kicking Horse Canyon is more than a scenic road in the mountains. It’s an example of what we can accomplish when we work together. Very soon, commuters will be able to drive along this newly expanded highway, allowing more people to get to where they need to go safely and efficiently,” said John Aldag, MP for Cloverdale-Langley City. “Our investments in transportation infrastructure benefit the local economy and community by reducing congestion and increasing road safety. We will continue investing in projects like this one that make a significant difference in the lives of all Canadians.”
Approximately five kilometres of narrow, two-lane highway have been transformed and preparations are being made to transition traffic onto the new highway and bridges by the beginning of December 2023. This winter, people travelling through the Kicking Horse Canyon will have a smoother, safer trip on the new, four-lane divided highway.
“Improvements through the Kicking Horse Canyon are a marvel of engineering and have earned industry awards for design and skilled construction,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Everyone working on this phase of the project should be very, very proud of what they’ve accomplished. The contractors and workers deserve our thanks for completing this challenging project in very difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions during the months of high summer heat and the bitter cold of winter.”
In fall 2022, people began using a large section of the recently constructed eastbound lanes. This year, the remaining eastbound lanes on the Bighorn Viaduct were completed, and construction focused on the new westbound lanes and the associated walls and rockfall protections through the project.
During the recent extended closure of the Trans-Canada Highway in late September and early October 2023, crews finished the last major concrete pour on the project and completed the Lynx, Elk and Caribou viaducts.
There will be no further extended closures of Highway 1. Limited construction delays, including nighttime closures, will continue to occur through November 2023. While minimal work is expected during the winter, final work on the project, including top-lift paving, will occur in spring 2024 and will require additional traffic management in the run-up to final completion.
More than $600 million is being invested in the Kicking Horse Canyon Phase 4 project, with the Government of Canada contributing approximately $215.19 million and the B.C. government providing the remaining approximately $385.58 million.
Featured image: Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project lies between the previously-completed Phase 3 West (Golden Hill to West Portal) and Phase 1 (Yoho Bridge) sections. (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)