New Trans-Canada Highway avalanche control technology being installed at Three Valley Gap

Remote Avalanche Control System will shorten length of avalanche control closures on Trans-Canada Highway west of Revelstoke.

A controlled avalanche hits the highway at Three Valley Gap in January 2011. A new avalanche control system is being installed that the BC Ministry of Transportation says will shorten closures due to avalanche control.

New avalanche control technology is being installed above Three Valley Gap in a move that officials say will shorten avalanche closures on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Revelstoke.

Three separate Remote Avalanche Control Systems (RACS) will be installed on the avalanche paths above the highway this fall, and will be in operation this winter, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation announced Monday morning.

Five more RACS will be installed in the future.

The new system will allow avalanche technicians to trigger slides remotely instead of dropping bombs from a helicopter. This will enable them to perform avalanche control at all hours of the day and in all sorts of weather, instead of having to wait for favourable daylight weather in order to fly.

The $2.1 million contract to install the equipment was awarded to Wyssen Avalanche Control, which is based in Switzerland.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone first announced the new avalanche control system in Revelstoke in June 2016.

“The first of these new avalanche mitigation systems will be in operation this winter and will lessen the duration of highway closures due to avalanches,” he said in a news release.