When Highway 1 was built 57 years ago, little regard was given to fish. The culvert near Rogers Pass Discovery Centre was considered a high priority as fish could not pass through. In 2017, Parks Canada built a new culvert that was longer, wider and had a ground bottom. For the first time in over half a century, bull trout can cross Highway 1. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Parks Canada on the way to completing $122 million in infrastructure projects

Upgrades in Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Park have been in progress for five years

This year Parks Canada completed several infrastructure projects in Glacier and Mt. Revelstoke National Parks.

The infrastructure projects were funded by a $122 million Government of Canada investment, over the last five years, with some projects continuing in 2020.

These projects include $95 million for avalanche mitigation and Trans Canada Highway improvements.

READ MORE: World’s most extensive avalanche detection system launched on Rogers Pass

The highway improvements included:

  • Beaver Valley traffic holding area-a safe area to park vehicles during road closures
  • Cougar Corner Snow nets-specially designed netting to hold the snow pack in place on this particularly troublesome avalanche slope (Rows of snow nets adding up to two kilometres total netting)
  • Static avalanche defense structures-Maintenance of existing structures – dams or berms to catch or deflect avalanche debris – as well as construction of additional earthen mounds to help prevent avalanches from reaching the highway
  • Rogers Pass snow sheds-Drainage upgrades, column repairs and LED lighting
  • Improvements to section of the TCH from Hermit Trailhead to Loop Brook Campground
  • Rock slope stabilization at Beaver Hill and Ilecillewaet Curve
  • New vault toilets at Mount Sir Donald Chain-Up area and Illecillewaet Valley trailhead parking lot
  • Highway paving

Projects in the Rogers Pass area had an estimated cost of $20 million, including:

  • Sewer and storm water system upgrades to support current and future use in Rogers Pass
  • Removal of the former lodge and service station buildings including safe removal and disposal of hazardous building materials, contaminated soil excavation and remediation of priority sites and groundwater monitoring and sampling in Rogers Pass
  • Construction of a new 24-hour washroom building in Rogers Pass
  • Construction of small day use area and parking lot to support new washroom building in Rogers Pass

In September, 470 tonnes of rock were placed around the Illecillewaet Stone Arch Culvert to reinforce its concrete footings and protect the historic 115-year-old birdge against future erosion. The project included fish passage considerations. This project cost an estimated $280,000.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Highway 1 improvements restoring fish habitat in Glacier National Park

Hiking trail improvements such as erosion control, upgraded signing and repairs to structures cost an estimated $600,000.

Projects that will continue in 2020 include the campground at Mt. Revelstoke National Park. Snowforest Campground construction is estimated to cost, upon completion an estimated $6 million.

READ MORE: Opening delayed for new campground at Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Hazard tree removal is also ongoing. Due to major spruce beetle infestation, many old-growth spruce trees in Mt. Sir Donald Campground and other day use areas needed to be removed for public safety. The estimated cost for this project is $600,000.

Restoration of the former Glacier Park Lodge site will also continue in the new year.

“Sampling and monitoring of sub-surface contamination will be ongoing throughout the Rogers Pass summit area for the foreseeable future to ensure the extent of contaminated soil and groundwater is well understood and any potential risk to human health or the environment can be mitigated,” said a news release from Parks Canada.

READ MORE: Parks Canada moving ahead with demolition of Rogers Pass summit buildings



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