In the early 1950’s, the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) in Yoho and Banff national parks was built as a scenic, low volume, two-lane highway. It has since developed into a major commercial highway and an important trade corridor connecting eastern and western Canada. It is also the primary access route for five million visitors to Canada’s mountain national parks with average daily traffic volumes reaching nearly 5,800 vehicles through Yoho National Park.
Starting in 1981, the TCH in Banff National Park was upgraded in phases, from two lanes to a four lane divided highway. The upgrades were guided by three equal goals:
- Improve motorist safety
- Reduce highway-related wildlife mortality and habitat fragmentation
- Improve the flow of traffic and goods on Canada’s national highway.
With completion of twinning in Banff National Park in 2014, upgrades of the TCH in Yoho National Park are now underway. Guided by the same goals, a six km stretch of highway will be twinned starting at the Alberta/British Columbia border extending westward. This section is known as Phase IVA, and is slated to be completed in March 2018.
Keeping wildlife safe
Wildlife mitigations planned for this section include the following:
- one 60-metre wide wildlife overpass,
- three wildlife underpasses, and
- six km highway wildlife fencing.
Keeping people safe
A Remote Avalanche Control System (RACS) will be installed on Mount Bosworth to proactively manage snow accumulation. This new system will allow avalanches to be triggered more effectively and reduce the risk of avalanches impacting the highway or wildlife fencing.
Consultation and planning for the next phase
Public consultations and environmental assessment is set to begin for upgrades on the remaining 40 km section of TCH in Yoho National Park. This section is known as Phase IVB.
Parks Canada will undertake a Detailed Impact Analysis (commonly referred to as an environmental assessment) and twinning design for the project. Indigenous, stakeholder and public consultation will also be carried out. Information on public participation opportunities will be shared as available.
It is anticipated that the final Detailed Impact Analysis and twinning design will be completed by March 2018. No funding is available for construction on this 40 km section at this time.
Fact Sheet (PDF 201 KB)
Map (PDF 3 MB)
|Stage / Milestone||Timing|
|Terms of Reference for the Detailed Impact Analysis:
Review of Scope and Valued Component Selection
|Winter 2016 / 2017|
|Initial Engagement (one-on-one meetings, open house)||Winter 2016 / Spring 2017|
|Prepare the Draft Detailed Impact Analysis and Preliminary Engineering Design||Spring / Summer 2017|
|Public Review of Draft Detailed Impact Analysis||Fall / Winter 2017|
|Refine Draft Detailed Impact Analysis and Engineering Design as required||Winter 2018|
Decision on Detailed Impact Analysis
Open House: Trans-Canada Highway Twinning Project (Phase IVB), Yoho National Park.
May 31, Field, B.C.
Drop by to learn more information on the Trans-Canada Highway Twinning Project (Phase IVB) in Yoho National Park. This phase of the project includes an environmental assessment for the future twinning of the final 40 km section of highway in the park. The open house is an opportunity for people to learn more about the project and provide feedback. Parks Canada staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide details on the project. Further consultation is anticipated late 2017 as part of the formal public review on the draft Detailed Impact Analysis and preliminary highway design.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
6 p.m.to 8 p.m., Field Community Centre
Stephen Avenue, Field, B.C.
For questions or more information regarding upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park, contact:
Media inquiries and construction updates
Lindsay McPherson, Public Relations and Communications Officer, Lake Louise/Yoho/Kootenay Field Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org
Public consultation and engagement
Noelle Summers, Consultation Coordinator for the Trans-Canada Highway Twinning Project (Phase IVB), Lake Louise/Yoho/Kootenay Field Unit, email@example.com