The British Columbia Government announced that drivers will be able to return to Highway 1 through the Kicking Horse Canyon ahead of schedule at 6 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

“As winter approaches, this is reassuring news for residents and travellers passing through Kicking Horse Canyon (No. 42 on ReNew’s 2022 Top100 Projects report). Investments in road infrastructure help keep communities safe and connected,” said Harjit Sajjan, federal Minister of International Development and Minister Responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. “Our government has invested more than $215 million in this project, which will help manage traffic flow, improve road safety and reduce travel times. We will continue to collaborate with our partners to invest in more projects like these that create jobs across the country and build more resilient communities.”

The project’s contractor, Kicking Horse Canyon Constructors, made progress during the recent fall closure, and the new alignment is opening ahead of schedule. When the highway opens, traffic will move onto much of the newly built infrastructure using the future eastbound lanes, while construction progresses on the new westbound lanes.

“Travellers and commercial truckers are set to benefit from these significant upgrades through the Kicking Horse Canyon,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The old highway’s sharp corners are gone, with new viaducts and structures across sections of the canyon that improve the safety and reliability of this important interprovincial connection.”

Nearly two kilometres of new eastbound bridge and viaduct structures will be in use. Drivers will travel Bighorn, Frenchman’s and Blackwall bridges for the first time after the eastbound lanes at Sheep Bridge went into service earlier this year. Travellers will also drive along new eastbound lanes on the Lynx, Grizzly, Wolf, Elk, and Marmot viaducts. The new road passes beneath two major new rock cuts, including the new through-cut at Dart Creek.

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The project is slated for completion in winter 2023-24 with the next stretch of full highway closures expected in spring 2023.

Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project involves realigning and widening 4.8 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway through the canyon. The work includes construction of four new bridges and nine new viaducts.

More than $600 million is being invested in the project, with the Government of Canada contributing $215.19 million and the B.C. government providing the remaining $385.58 million.

Featured image: (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

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