Highway project to slow B.C. traffic near Alberta border | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Highway project to slow B.C. traffic near Alberta border

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
March 29, 2021 - 6:30 AM

Chances are you're in for a longer trip, as well as more traffic, detours, and increased police enforcement if you're headed to Alberta via Highway One starting next month as traffic flows to secondary highways.

It's the result of a multi-year improvement project of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Golden, which is set to start its final phase in mid April.

"The Kicking Horse Canyon Phase 4 project is designed to improve safety as well as widen and realign the highway which will require traffic disruptions and, at times, full highway closures," said a provincial news release.

As part of the project, motorists will be detoured to Highways 93 south and 95, impacting communities including Golden and Radium Hot Springs "and points south".

As you might expect, there will also be an impact on smaller communities on Highway One east of the project to the Alberta border, and from the Alberta border to Radium Hot Springs via Highway 93 south through Kootenay National Park.

"It is well-known that the remaining two-lane canyon section of the Trans-Canada Highway is severely constrained," an information page on the project says. You can read more here.

The first extended closures will begin April 12 and last to May 14.

Then three days later on May 17,  "24-hour closures on weekdays" will start and last until May 31.

To follow traffic notifications for the project go here.

Aerial view of Kicking Horse Canyon
Aerial view of Kicking Horse Canyon
Image Credit: Government of B.C.

The province says motorists should also be prepared for the following:

  • Single-lane alternating traffic causing delays of 20-30 minutes can be expected to continue through to about April 10.
  • Overnight closures can be expected on non-holiday weekdays by "about March 29", which may be preceded by 2-hour evening closures between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The province also says the road closures apply only to the "4.8 kilometre construction zone in the canyon itself. The Trans-Canada Highway from Castle Junction to Lake Louise, Field and Beaverfoot will be open even during extended closures."

This summer, the highway through the Canyon will remain open during the daytime, but overnight interruptions may range from 20-minute stoppages to 8-hour closures.

Starting this fall and through the winter and spring, traffic could be stopped anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, plus there may be closures of up to nine hours overnight.

Meanwhile, local commuters will be allowed to go through the construction zone during two brief daily windows, if they qualify for a pass. To do so, an applicant "must be required to travel through the Canyon from Field to Golden or from Golden to Field regularly to go to work."

Go here to see Commuter Passes for qualifications, restrictions, and application forms.

The province says police will be keeping an eye on traffic along the affected routes of Highways 93 South & 95.

"BC RCMP Traffic Services has been working closely with (the province) and local RCMP Detachments to mitigate the impact of increased traffic volume on the alternate routes while maintaining road safety as the project progresses," the provincial release said.

"This is an important project... (that will) hopefully reduce the number of serious injury and fatal collisions in this corridor, says Golden RCMP Sergeant Brad Matchett.

The project is expected to be completed in early 2024.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ministry of Transportation

To contact a reporter for this story, email Darren Rathwell or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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