Trans-Canada Highway Update

For those who haven’t travelled the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff and Lake Louise this summer, a lot of work has taken place, and those who travel this road for the first time since last winter will see some big changes.

The original project was for twinning of the highway for a 10km or so stretch from Lake Louise to Moraine Creek, and this section, according to reports in the local papers a month or so ago, was to be twinned, paved, and ready for two-way traffic in time for this winter. Further landscaping and completion of the wildlife over/underpasses would take place next spring. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also this summer announced a cash infusion that would allow twinning of the entire stretch between Castle Junction and Lake Louise, resulting in an uninterupted four lane highway from Calgary all the way to Lake Louise.

However, it recently became clear that the original stretch would not be completed as planned after we saw fewer and fewer signs of crews and equipment at the construction sites. Our thoughts were confirmed this week when a newspaper article reported that due to a spell of bad weather, paving could not be completed in time, and it was decided to pull out and return in the spring. So, that means we’re back to our original two-lane white knuckle drive for this winter.

October saw the installation of new Texas gates at the two ends of the Lake Louise overpass, completing the fencing for the first stage of construction. It apears as though the large animal overpass near Temple pull-out is almost done, but the one going in just west of Lake Louise will be done next summer. A number of various wildlife underpasses are already in place.

A big dump of snow is a great thing for ski areas, but not so great for roads. Once this project is done, at least getting there won’t be as terrifying!

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