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Closures, delays and detours for another year on the Trans-Canada through Kicking Horse

If you've driven to Calgary in the past two years, you know.

The Trans-Canada Highway construction project through Kicking Horse Canyon near Golden is fraught with closures, delays and detours.

Drivers have to time it just so to avoid being stuck -- for as short as a half-hour or as long as all night.

And the detour adds an hour-and-a-half to an already arduous road trip from the Okanagan and Thompson to Banff and Calgary, especially in the winter snow.

While huge progress on the highway widening and straightening project has been made in the past two years, there's still another year to go to completion.

As such, it might not look or feel that the entire engineering marvel is on time and on budget.

</who>Work on phase 4 of Trans-Canada Highway construction through Kicking Horse Canyon starting in the spring of 2021 and will be completed in early 2024.

"Major construction on this phase (4) of the project began in spring 2021 and will be completed in winter 2023/24," the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure told NowMedia Group.

"At the start of construction, the project budget was $601 million, with the Government of Canada contributing $215 and the BC government providing the remaining $386 million. The project is currently on schedule and on budget."

The Trans-Canada, also known as Highway 1, the important national thoroughfare that runs coast to coast.

The Kicking Horse Canyon section sees about 10,000 vehicles a day in the heavier-travelled summer.

This three years of construction is only on a 4.8-kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada.

But, the section through the dramatic Kicking Horse Canyon is considered the most challenging section of the Trans-Canada in the province.

To widen the highway from two lanes to four, straighten out 13 curves, put in a median, bike lanes, wildlife fencing and wildlife passages, it is a herculean undertaking.

It's not just the blacktop of highway lanes, but blasting mountains to make way, building retaining walls and bridges and viaducts.

"It's making travel better and safer for all," said the ministry.

But, in the meantime, there's an array of closures and delays to be aware of if you're driving the Trans-Canada through the Kicking Horse.

Generally, the under-construction portion of the Highway is open during the day with no stoppages 7 to 9 am and 3 to 8 pm.

During the other times of the day there could be traffic halts of a half-hour while construction work that blocks the way is done.

And then the section is closed nightly 10 pm to 7 am.

The detour that adds an hour-and-a-half is on Highways 93 and 95.

Upcoming, there's a closure of up to five days scheduled during the two weeks April 1-15 and some consecutive day closures in May as well as multi-day closures from mid-September to the end of November.

The ministry will give significant, advance notice of any extended closure.

There will be no extended closures on long holiday weekends such as Easter, Victoria Day and Thanksgiving and the highway will be open and free of any interruptions during the day all summer long.

If you're travelling that stretch of highway, always check the day of for the schedule and any traffic delays or stoppages at DriveBC.ca or KickingHorseCanyon.ca.



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