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Kicking Horse Canyon construction begins fourth phase in massive improvement project

Drivers heading into British Columbia on the Trans-Canada Highway should be prepared for delays and an extra long drive.

GOLDEN, B.C. – Drivers heading into British Columbia on the Trans-Canada Highway should be prepared for delays and an extra long drive.

The fourth phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon construction project started earlier in March, with drivers being reminded to expect delays of up to 30 minutes until at least mid April, a B.C. government release stated.

The project is focusing on “realigning and widening” four lanes of traffic along a 4.8-kilometre stretch of road east of Golden. The work will also make improvements to snow avalanche, rock fall mitigation and wildlife exclusion fencing.

The release stated overnight closures are likely during non-holiday weekends between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on about March 29. There will also be a full closure from April 12 to May 14 then May 17 to 31, with the exception of weekends and the Victoria Day holiday.

Drivers can also expect closures of up to two hours during weekdays in the late morning, early afternoon and early evening.

“The timing of the extended closure is intended 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,” according to the release.

However, there will be two 30 minute daily windows to allow for “limited local/commuter traffic,” which will be escorted through the construction zone. The times will be 7-7:30 a.m. and 4:30-5 p.m.

A commuter pass system will be needed and all other traffic will go through Highways 93S and 95 on the Trans-Canada between Golden to Castle Junction. The detour is estimated to add about 90 minutes of travel time

“During traffic diversion periods, expect increased presence and enforcement from RCMP and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement,” the release noted, asking all motorists to be respectful of the road.

The phase is estimated to cost $601 million, including the federal government adding $215 million.

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 previous three phases transformed 21 kilometres stretch of road from a winding two-lane highway to allow four lanes of traffic.

It’s expected to be completed by 2024.

People can visit www.kickinghorsecanyon.ca for more information on the project and www.drivebc.ca for up-to-date information on lengthy closures.