Phase four of the Kicking Horse Canyon project will twin the winding stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Golden, B.C. (Photo Ministry of Transportation Photo)

Phase four of the Kicking Horse Canyon project will twin the winding stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Golden, B.C. (Photo Ministry of Transportation Photo)

‘Definitely Revelstoke will take a financial hit’: Highway 1 upgrades near Golden to begin fall 2020

The province said there will be no extended 24 hour closures during summer or winter

The province held an information session in Revelstoke last month about the upcoming highway expansion project east of Golden.

The fourth and most difficult phase of Kicking Horse Canyon Project is scheduled to begin this fall. Construction is expected to cost $601 million and estimated to be complete by the winter of 2023/24.

“This is an extremely complex project,” said Art McClean, operations manager from the Ministry of Transportation.

“We’re redesigning a 1950s highway.”

Map of the Kicking Horse Canyon project. (Province of B.C.)

When Phase 4 was first introduced in 2016, the price tag was $450 million.

The province said the 34 per cent price increase is due to additional engineering, design and geotechnical work, additional foundation supports for bridges and retaining calls, consultation with Indigenous communities and the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA).

Hiring under CBS includes provisions for hiring local workers, Indigenous Peoples, apprentices and women in trades. The application of CBA will cost $35 million, roughly six per cent of the project’s total budget.

READ MORE: Kicking Horse widening budget up $151 million as bidders invited

READ MORE: B.C. Highway 1 widening to Alberta demanded for decades

Phase 4 involves redesigning and expanding a 4.8 km section of highway, just outside Golden. Currently, the highway in this area is wedged next to crumbling cliffs and frequently susceptible to rockfall and avalanches. There are also multiple tight corners.

The province states Kicking Horse Canyon sees collision rates three times higher than the provincial average for similar two-lane highways.

The improvements include turning the two-lane highway into four lanes, straightening 13 sharp curves, adding a 2.5 metre shoulder, improving catchment for avalanches, as well as adding retaining walls and median barriers to reduce collisions.

The province is aiming to reduce collisions by 66 per cent and increase the posted speed limit from 80 km/h to 100 km/h.

Various types of closures are expected, such as delays of up to 20 minutes, scheduled closures less than two hours, overnight closures up to 10 hours and extended 24-hour closures.

The province said there will be no 24-hour closures during the summer or winter, only in April, May, September, October and November. No daytime closures are expected during summer months.

The extended 24-hour closures should be posted three months in advance on DriveBC. Traffic will be diverted to Highway 93 and Highway 95, adding an extra 100 kilometres to the drive from Calgary to Golden.

Revelstoke mayor Gary Sulz said he is concerned about the project’s impact on Revelstoke, in particular on tourism from Calgarians with the added drive time.

“Definitely Revelstoke will take a financial hit,” said Sulz.

He wonders if at the intersection of Highway 93 and 95, drivers will instead turn right and go to closer destinations such as Invermere or take the longer road and turn right to Golden and Revelstoke.

“Only time will tell which direction people will turn.”

McClean said the project will be difficult due to avalanche and rockfall hazards to road crew. He said the Rocky mountains are not a strong mountain range.

“They tend to fall down.”

Below the highway is the railway, McClean said the work cannot interrupt rail traffic. Nor the Kicking Horse River.

McClean continued that the contractor will be held to their proposed closure times.

“If they say two hours, it better be two hours,” he said.

If it’s longer, McClean said there could be financial penalties.

In 2003, the Kicking Horse Canyon Project was launched to improve 26 km of highway between Golden and Yoho National Park. The province said all four phases will cost $927 million, with the Government of Canada providing $350 million and B.C. covering the rest. Each summer, roughly 12,000 vehicles travel this section of highway.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ConstructionTransCanada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Figure skaters in the old skating rink in the 1940s. 
(Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 4034)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Nov. 26

A look a local history as recorded by the newspaper

Cst. Dane Storey was recognized as a member of Alexa’s Team, a provincial recognition paying tribute to police officers who make an extraordinary contribution to reducing the number of impaired drivers on the roads. (Submitted/Revelstoke RCMP)
Alexa’s Team awarded to Revelstoke RCMP officer

Cst. Dane Storey removed 59 impaired drivers from B.C. roads in 2019

Revelstoke Mountain Resort opens for the season tomorrow, Nov. 27, 2020. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Know before you go: Revelstoke Mountain Resort opens tomorrow

Masks are mandatory, lineup opens at 6:30 a.m.

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Dentice di Frasso, a member of Italian nobility, once owned land in Summerland. (Contributed)
Italian nobility family once lived in Summerland

Dentice di Frasso and his family owned land in the Prairie Valley area

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Summerland residents have been receiving a telephone scam with the number showing as the telephone number of the local RCMP detachment. (Black Press Media files)
Summerland RCMP telephone number spoofed in scam calls

Number used in scam attempts from tax agency

(Village of Lumby photo)
Mysterious, loud ‘boom’ shakes North Okanagan residents

Village staff, Earthquakes Canada aren’t sure what caused the explosion-like sound

Clarence Fulton students collect cash and non-perishable food donations for families in need in their community Friday, Nov. 27. (Jennifer Smith  - Morning Star)
North Okanagan students collect food for families in need

Annual event to support nine school families this year

Take a break from the slopes to discover the rich culture and diversity of Vernon. Michelle Beaudry photo, courtesy Tourism Vernon.
Tourism Vernon could see 40% cut to budget due to COVID-19

New approach to help residents and visitors activate their adventures

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read