Work complete on latest Kicking Horse Canyon projects

GOLDEN, BC, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - Several projects to upgrade the Trans-Canada Highway east of Golden have been completed, ensuring this important route will be safer and more reliable for travellers this winter.

The upgrades include four-laning 3.8 kilometres of the Golden Hill to West Portal section; adding a new interchange and wildlife overpass at Golden Donald Upper Road; as well as reducing the highway grade (steepness) and improving wildlife protection by adding a special crossing, fencing and guards on access roads. The one-kilometre Golden Hill multi-use path is also complete, giving cyclists and pedestrians a safe, alternative route between the town and the Golden Donald Upper Road area.

"Our government is proud to invest in projects that create jobs and improve highway infrastructure in B.C.," said David Wilks, Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia. "These important Trans-Canada Highway ugrades will improve safety, reduce travel time and promote long-term economic growth in the region."

"The completion of these projects is a major milestone in Phase 3 of the Kicking Horse Canyon project, with only one final portion to go," said Blair Lekstrom, B.C.'s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Improvements to this part of the Trans-Canada Highway are increasing the safety and efficiency of this corridor for both motorists and cyclists, and improving the flow of goods through the region and mobility within the community."

"The new section of four-lane highway and the electronic message signs greatly improve the safety of residents and visitors who travel the Trans-Canada near Golden," said Town of Golden Mayor Christina Benty. "And I know the new path up Golden Hill will be popular with local families. It's an excellent addition to the many outdoor recreational opportunities we enjoy here in Kicking Horse country."

These completed projects are part of the $68.5-million Golden Hill to West Portal project, under Phase 3 of the larger Kicking Horse Canyon project, and were jointly funded by the federal, provincial and municipal governments. The Government of Canada is investing up to $32.3 million under the Building Canada Fund, the province is providing $35.63 million and the Town of Golden is contributing $570,000.

The final piece of work underway in this phase of the project is an upgrade to 1.2 kilometres at the West Portal, just east of Golden, that is expected to be complete by November 2012. Improvements to 8.8 kilometres from Brake Check to Yoho National Park were completed earlier this year, and 9 kilometres were upgraded previously under phases 1 and 2 of the project.

In addition, a number of new and refurbished electronic message signs that provide timely information on traffic conditions through this Rocky Mountain section of the Trans-Canada Highway are now up and running. Messages on the signs can be changed remotely as quickly as conditions change, and the information is linked directly to the Drive BC system.

The Kicking Horse Canyon/Trans-Canada Corridor project is improving safety and reliability for travellers, as well as for commerce leading to our communities and trade ports. More information is available at www.kickinghorsecanyon.ca.

Since 2001, over $2 billion has been invested in the Kootenay region to improve and maintain roads and bridges, broaden cycling networks, expand airports and transit, and support community infrastructure improvements.

Connect with the Province of British Columbia at www.gov.bc.ca/connect.

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

SOURCE Government of British Columbia

For further information:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Kate Trotter
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250-356-8241


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