Ministry of Transportation announces major progress on Kicking Horse Canyon Project

With the first year of construction coming to a close, the Ministry of Transportation says the Kicking Horse Canyon Project sees significant progress

The first year of construction on Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon project has seen notable progress, with new bridges under construction and retaining walls and new highway viaducts taking shape along this section of the Trans-Canada Highway. Photo: Province of B.C.

The spring extended closure of the Kicking Horse Canyon highway construction project was lifted on May 20, marking the end of month-long traffic disruption. 

The closure required motorists wishing to travel the direct route on the Trans Canada Highway 1 to detour around the canyon connecting Golden to Lake Louise. The redirect routes travellers south from Golden down Highway 95 to Radium Hot Springs and then North along Highway 93, where the road intersects again with Trans Canada Hwy 1. This closure adds about an extra hour and 40 minutes of travel onto the expected time it takes to drive through the Kicking Horse Canyon.

With the closure lifted, the summer hours are in effect on June 1 and will continue into mid-September. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the summer hours will generally operate as follows:

  • No daytime stoppages due to construction
  • 30-minute stoppages in the evening
  • Overnight closures Sunday through Thursday nights
  • 30-minute stoppages overnight Friday
  • No closures or stoppages overnight Saturday
  • Highway open for long holiday weekends
Kicking Horse Canyon East of Golden Closed Between Easter and Victoria Day Long Weekend. Photo: Province of B.C.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure also released a statement noting the significant progress made on the Kicking Horse Canyon project in its first year of construction. The project is in its fourth and final phase and is part of Highway 1 – Kamloops to Alberta – Four Laning Program. Phase four of the project includes realigning and widening 4.8 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway through the canyon. The work consists of constructing four new bridges and nine new viaducts.

So far, the first year of construction has seen the completion of the Bighorn Bridge, the project’s longest bridge at 160 metres. Also nearing completion are the eastbound lanes of the Sheep Bridge. 

“It is remarkable to see the transformation of this highway as the finishing touches are put on key bridges and the first year of construction nears completion,” said Dominic LeBlanc, federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.

“The Kicking Horse Canyon is a vital route for commerce and commuters, and its extensive renovation will benefit the local economy and community by reducing congestion and increasing road safety. Our government’s investments in transportation often pull double duty, improving commercial trade and residents’ quality of life.”

The project is slated for completion in winter 2023-24, with the next stretch of full highway closures expected this fall, says the Government of B.C. in a press release. 

For more information on the Kicking Horse Canyon Project, visit kickinghorsecanyon.ca.

More construction for Golden

With the end in sight for one project, Golden’s Kicking Horse River Bridges are reaching the end of their life’s service requiring replacement and perpetuating continual construction within the area. 

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure posted an information bulletin announcing the beginning of the public comment period on the Kicking Horse River Bridges project. 

“The Kicking Horse River bridges are an essential connection for residents to businesses, services and amenities in the area. They also provide a key regional link between Highway 1 and several communities along Highway 95 between Golden and Cranbrook,” says the Ministry in a press release announcing the public comment period. 

Staff from the Ministry will hold an open house for the public on Thursday, Jun 23, 2022, for information on the future project. The open house will allow public comment and review on the new project concept. 

In-person public open house: Thursday, June 23, 2022; 3-7 p.m. at the Golden Civic Centre, Great Hall 806-10th Ave. S. Golden.

If you cannot attend the open house, the Ministry advises people to review the display boards from the meeting and fill out the online survey by July 15 at: www.gov.bc.ca/highway95goldenbridges

The Ministry says they encourage the public to provide feedback on the project either in person or independently from June 23 until July 15.

Nora Hughes is a recent graduate of the Thompson Rivers University Interdisciplinary Program, where she combined her passions for Adventure Tourism, Communications and Journalism. With a strong interest in community news, Nora is passionate about giving a voice and face to the people of Revelstoke through storytelling.