The Kicking Horse Canyon project has forced the closure of Highway 1 east of Golden, B.C., for the next seven weeks, rerouting an estimated 10,000 drivers a day.
Until Dec. 1, drivers will be unable to travel that section of Highway 1 and instead be re-routed through Highway 93 and Highway 95.
That, Columbia Valley Mounties said in a Tuesday press release, is cause for them to focus on “enhancing the safety of travellers in the comings months.”
“Columbia Valley RCMP and the BC Highway Patrol offices in Golden and Cranbrook will be ensuring that their visible presence makes the highway safer for everyone. Police officers will be paying particular attention to aggressive driving and speed limits on both stretch of roads,” RCMP said.
The public can stay safer by allowing themselves plenty of time for their travels, have the required tires for their vehicles, and an emergency preparedness bag in case of further closure, police said.
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“There (have) been many reports of dangerous driving to the RCMP during the various stages of the recent re-routing and police will be enhancing their presence on the highway to ensure of the public’s safety and to enforce the Motor Vehicle Act,” Sgt. Darren Kakuno of the Columbia Valley RCMP said.
“With the ever-changing road conditions in mountainous terrain, we are asking the public to be mindful on the road and be prepared in case of delays.”
The Kicking Horse Canyon, located just east of Golden, is one of the most rugged and scenic sections to be found on the Trans-Canada Highway.
As a tourist- and commercial-transportation corridor, the highway carries more than 10,000 vehicles daily during the summer.
While the mix varies by season, up to 30 per cent of the traffic consists of commercial vehicles moving millions of dollars in goods to serve interprovincial and international trade.
Three phases of work have transformed 21 kilometres of the narrow, winding two-lane highway into a modern four-lane, 100 km/h standard.
Construction of the fourth and final phase to complete the remaining – and most difficult – 4.8 kilometres is expected to be substantially complete in winter 2023-24.