Federal, provincial governments to upgrade Highway 1 through southeastern B.C.

Ambitious upgrades planned for Highway 1 in B.C.

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The federal and British Columbia governments have announced $469 million in upgrades to two stretches of Highway 1 through southeastern B.C., including a section that could be the most expensive stretch of road in Canada.

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone says most of the funding, $450 million, is for improvements to a four-kilometre section of the Kicking Horse Canyon east of Golden.

At an estimated $110 million dollars per kilometre, Stone says the upgrades to Highway 1 through the canyon will likely make the roadwork the most expensive in provincial and Canadian history.

He defends the price, saying the short section of highway has a fatality rate three-times higher than the provincial average.

Stone and federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi also announced $19.4 million to four-lane Highway 1 about 20 kilometres west of Golden, from Donald to Forde Station Road, and make other improvements.

Work on the section west of Golden is expected to begin later this year, but engineering and other challenges linked to the Kicking Horse upgrade means construction won’t start until 2019 and will take at least five years to complete.  

“This will be one of the most technically challenging projects in our province’s history,” Stone says.

In comparison, he points to a $3.5-billion, 10-lane bridge planned for construction over the Fraser River between Richmond and Delta, south of Vancouver, saying it will take two fewer years to build the bridge than the four-kilometre Kicking Horse upgrade.

“Fundamentally, you are dealing with a very steep canyon on one side and a mountain on the other side, so there is a tremendous amount of blasting required and then the technical challenges come into play, in terms of do you tunnel, do you cantilever out,” Stone says.

Sohi says the federal government is contributing $222 million of the total cost.

British Columbia’s share is set at $247 million and Stone says the project is expected to create 1,400 jobs.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Retired Kelowna teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

Another 20 to 30 cm of snow expected on Coquihalla

Environment Canada issued a weather statement this morning

Fire started in bedroom of Kelowna home

The fire department was quick to respond to reports of a fire on Fuller Aveune

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Manhunt continues for France shooter

Suspected gunman named, had long police record

‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Shining’ added to National Film Registry

“These cinematic treasures must be protected because they document our history, culture, hopes and dreams.”

Berry: Consider your privacy this shopping season

Kelowna - Big Brother is always watching

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Most Read