September 11, 2007
Trans-Park Highway Group completes Kicking Horse Canyon’s Park Bridge ahead of schedule
The new Park Bridge along the Trans-Canada Highway in Kicking Horse Canyon has been completed ahead of schedule.
“The Kicking Horse Canyon portion of the Trans-Canada Highway is a vital gateway to British Columbia, and upgrading this key route has been our number one transportation priority,” said B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell.
Constructed under Phase 2 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project, the Park Bridge is a 405-metre span featuring five piers reaching up as high as 90 metres. Approaches to the bridge and realignment of more than five km of new four-lane highway east of Golden have also been completed. The rest of the Phase 2 work will be completed in January 2008.
Under a partnership agreement, the Government of Canada provided up to $62.5 million and the Province of British Columbia was responsible for the remaining funding to complete the $130-million Phase 2 project. The federal contribution to Phase 2 comes from the $4-billion Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, which supports large-scale projects of major national and regional significance in areas that are vital to sustaining economic growth and supporting an enhanced quality of life for Canadians. The provincial contribution to Phase 2 is part of British Columbia’s three-year, $2.3-billion transportation investment plan.
Through a public-private partnership with the Province, the Trans-Park Highway Group contributed funds to the Kicking Horse Canyon Project and is responsible for its design and construction. It will maintain the highway for the next 25 years.
“This performance-based contract has provided great value for taxpayers by combining stunning design work and top-notch construction along a very problematic segment of the Trans-Canada Highway,” said Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon.
“I’m delighted that the project is on budget and that the new Park Bridge is open to traffic several months ahead of schedule.”
The first phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project, completed in 2006, replaced the pre-existing Yoho Bridge and upgraded three km of the Trans-Canada Highway to a four-lane, 100 km-per-hour standard.
The federal government committed $20.8 million toward the first phase of the project, with $43.4 million provided by the Province of British Columbia.
The $765-million Phase 3 is a longer-term endeavour, involving complex upgrading of approximately 17 km of the Trans-Canada Highway to four lanes. This upgrade will include roadway realignment to improve traffic operations and safety, and the reduction of rock fall hazards from Golden to Yoho National Park.
The B.C. Ministry of Transportation completed conceptual planning studies in 2004 and preliminary engineering studies are underway.
Completion of Phase 3 of the project is contingent on future federal cost-sharing with the province.
The Kicking Horse Canyon route carries over 9,000 vehicles per day during the summer and traffic is expected to increase by 50 per cent over the next 25 years. Twenty-four per cent is heavy truck traffic; five times the provincial average.
DCN News Services
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