Kicking Horse Canyon to fully open for Family Day weekend

While traffic uses the two recently completed lanes of Lynx Viaduct, rock is hammered and excavated to make way for the remaining two lanes (photo taken Jan 16). Courtesy: Ministry of Transportation

B.C.’s Kicking Horse Canyon will fully reopen for traffic during Family Day Weekend, the province announced.

The winding section of the Trans-Canada Highway near the mountainous border between B.C. and Alberta has been under construction for upgrades since April 2021.

Phase 4 is the current phase and the portion of highway it affects will be fully open from Friday, Feb. 17 at noon until Tuesday, Feb. 21 at noon.

Read more: Kicking Horse Canyon — Closed highway to reopen one week early

Usually, throughout the winter, traffic management has involved 30-minute stoppages between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and in the evening from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. There are overnight closures from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. also.

Click to play video: 'Highway 1 through Kicking Horse Canyon to reopen a week early'
Highway 1 through Kicking Horse Canyon to reopen a week early

The Kicking Horse Canyon Project was established to improve safety, widen and realign the highway. It will inevitably require traffic disruptions and, at times, full highway closures.

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The highway carries more than 10,000 vehicles daily during the summer, with up to 30 per cent of the traffic being commercial vehicles moving millions of dollars in goods.

Click to play video: 'Fall closures scheduled for Kicking Horse Canyon project construction'
Fall closures scheduled for Kicking Horse Canyon project construction

The province said three phases of work have transformed 21 kilometres of narrow, winding, two-lane highway into a four-lane, 100-kilometre-an-hour 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.

This project is part of the comprehensive Highway 1 – Kamloops to Alberta – Four Laning Program.

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