British Columbia

Yoho National Park gets $85.9M funding boost for road improvements

It will go towards twinning six kilometres of the highway starting near the B.C.-Alberta border, improving wildlife protection measures, and a new avalanche control system.

6 km of Trans-Canada highway to be twinned, wildlife protection measures put in place

The federal government announced $85.9 million of funding for the twinning of six kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park. (Parks Canada)

The federal government is allocating millions to improve British Columbia's Yoho National Park.

Officials have announced $85.9 million for improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway which had been set aside as part of the federal budget in March.

Another $11 million was announced Wednesday to support visitor services.

The majority of the funding will go towards twinning six kilometres of the highway starting near the B.C.-Alberta border. That will result in a four-lane divided highway. 

Parks Canada spokesperson Marnie DiGiandomenico said crews will also construct three wildlife underpasses, one wildlife overpass and install wildlife-protective fencing around the highway.

There will also be a new remote avalanche control system near the B.C.-Alberta border to reduce the risk of avalanches impacting the highway, she added.

The improvements come at a time when Canada's mountain parks are attracting a record numbers of visitors.

"Essentially, many of Parks Canada's built assets such as highway, bridges, road surfaces and visitor facilities are reaching the end of their life cycle … and require significant recapitalization," she said.

Nearly $3 billion is being invested by the federal government over the next five years to support infrastructure projects in national parks.

Parks officials are bracing for 2017 when entry fees will be free to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.

DiGiandomenico said construction on the Yoho project — which started in mid-September — is slated to be completed in March 2018.

Travellers in the region should expect construction delays until mid-November, she said, adding drivers should check Drive B.C. for the latest updates.

With files from Daybreak South