After four weeks, the extended 24-hour closure in the Kicking Horse Canyon is winding down, with the Trans-Canada highway re-opening on weekends, starting this past Friday.
The highway is now closed once again, but will be open starting on Friday, May 21 at noon, until Monday, May 25 at noon, for the long weekend.
Extended 24-hour closes will continue during the weekdays, until June 1, with no daytime stoppages in the summer. Overnight closures will be in effect from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. Overnight closures are expected to be in effect until the end of June. Details as to what closures will potentially look like in July are still in development.
According to executive project director Mike Lorimer, progress has been good so far on the project, with no plans to extend the closures as they currently stand.
“We’re starting to see the permanent infrastructure go in, which is important, what we see now is that the piles that go in to support the bridges and some of the walls are starting to be going into the ground, which is a huge step forward,” said Lorimer.
“There’s still a lot of work going on with the geotechnical drilling, they’re still doing some of the design work on some of the more challenging sections. But while they’re able to do that, they’re able to start moving forward on some of the new construction. So good progress all round.”
Lorimer says that the site is a challenge, but the progress being made is impressive considered the geotechnical difficulties the canyon can present.
However, he says as construction continues, they learn more and more about the canyon and are able to adapt to the unique situation and site.
“Nothing is insurmountable, the more exploration and drilling work, they’re improving their knowledge,” said Lorimer.
“Nothing is a deal breaker.”
Lorimer says that those who travel in the canyon now that it is re-opening will be able to see the difference, with the vegetation removal. He says that the site feels much more open, but that there is still lots of work being done that will not be seen at a surface level.
He says that groundwork has been laid for construction to continue safely into June.
Those looking to travel through the canyon during this time can see a full calendar with the details of the upcoming closures at kickinghorsecanyon.ca/construction/calendar/, or can monitor DriveBC for updates.