British Columbia

Federal, provincial governments announce $469M Highway 1 upgrade

The federal and B.C. governments have announced $469 million in upgrades to two stretches of the Trans-Canada Highway through southeastern B.C.

Upgrades could be the most expensive roadwork in Canadian history

Most of the funding will go to improving a four-kilometre stretch of highway through Kicking Horse Canyon east of Golden, B.C. — pictured here. (Government of B.C.)

The federal and B.C. governments have announced $469 million in upgrades to two stretches of Highway 1 through southeastern B.C.

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 defended 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 improve a four-lane stretch of 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.