As summer travelling slows, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announces fall closures scheduled on Trans-Canada Highway 1 for the Kicking Horse Canyon construction project outside Golden. In a media release, the ministry says that following the busy summer construction season, a full closure of Highway 1 through the construction zone is necessary for more complex construction work.
From noon on Sept. 26, 2022, until 6 a.m. on Dec. 1, the ministry says a detour will route all traffic on Highway 1 between Golden and Castle Junction via highways 93S and 95. The detour adds one and a half hours of travel time.
The ministry says that destinations between Castle Junction and the construction zone, such as Lake Louise and Field, will continue to be accessible from the east throughout the closure.
Additionally, the ministry has announced that the highway will reopen temporarily for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend from noon on Oct. 7 until 12 p.m. on Oct. 11. They say drivers should expect congestion and some delays on the alternate route during busier periods.
The ministry states that the closure will allow crews to proceed with work that crews cannot complete safely during shorter interruptions, such as construction on and adjacent to the existing highway, which includes the placement of heavy equipment on the roadway.
In the media release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, summer progress on the Kicking Horse Canyon project is detailed; “This summer, progress has included the placement of girders and construction of bridge decks on new bridges and viaducts. Between the elevated structures, construction of the retaining walls to carry the wider highway continues. Following the fall closure, some of the newly constructed elements will be serviced to allow the remaining adjacent work to be carried out.”
The ministry says that when the project is completed in winter 2023-24, the 4.8-kilometre section of narrow, winding two-lane road will be converted to a modern four-lane highway, making a safer, more reliable route for people travelling through the Kicking Horse Canyon.
“The fall closure is part of a traffic-management strategy developed in consultation with the community and key stakeholders,” writes ministry staff in the media release. “The strategy is designed to minimize travel disruptions during the peak summer and winter travel periods by having as much work as possible done at night and other off-peak periods.”