GOLDEN – Anyone driving into British Columbia using the Trans-Canada Highway can expect fewer daytime delays in the Kicking Horse Canyon area.
In a media release, the B.C. government updated the 24-hour multi-day closures were completed as of May 28, but drivers can still expect some delays as the fourth phase of the construction project continues to take place.
However, there will still be 30 minute stoppages between 8 and 10 p.m. with only single lane traffic allowed and full overnight closures between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The overnight closures will have motorists use the alternate route of Highways 93S and 95 between Golden and Castle Junction, which adds about 90 minutes of travel time.
The project saw multiple daylong closures between April 12 and May 28, but from May 31 to mid-September there will be no daytime stoppages, with the exception of slight pauses to allow construction vehicles to enter, exit and cross the highway, the release stated.
The release highlighted the majority of the spring work had the installation of deep piles in the steep slopes below the Trans-Canada Highway to help “establish a foundation for the bridges and viaducts that will replace the sharp bends on the existing road.”
The sheep bridge, bighorn bridge and viaduct and lynx viaduct are the structures that will be supported by the work, according to the release.
The fourth phase of construction began in March as the project focuses on realigning and widening four lanes of traffic on the 4.8-kilometre stretch of road to the east of Golden.
The work is making improvements to snow avalanche, rock fall mitigation and wildlife exclusion fencing.
This phase of the project is estimated to cost about $601 million, including the $215 million in funding from the federal government.
The three prior phases widened roughly 21 kilometres stretch of road. The entire project is expected to be complete by 2024.
The stretch of highway is among the most rugged and scenic sections on the Trans-Canada Highway. In the summer, it averages more than 10,000 vehicles a day and roughly 30 per cent are commercial vehicles.
The extended closures will return again from about Sept. 20 to the end of November, with more details to be announced this summer.