Banff National Park of Canada
Trans-Canada Highway Twinning Project
Phase IIIB: June 2007
Version (PDF, 877 Kb)
The announcement of an additional 37 million dollars in funding through
the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative was welcome news for the
twinning project in October 2006. This brings the project budget up to 87
million dollars. Escalating construction costs and an in-demand labour market
had whittled the original 10 km twinning project down to 6 km. Additional
funding now allows 9 km of highway to be upgraded from two to four lanes.
Project goals are to improve motorist safety; to reduce highway wildlife mortality
and habitat fragmentation; and to improve the flow of goods and services on
Canada’s national highway.
Four new bridge structures have now been built in the
new traffic lanes:
TCH work schedule
Roadwork is underway from dawn to dusk, 7 days/week. Expect intermittent
5 minute delays and minor detours until further notice. For up-to-date
road information, check the mountain
parks road report at: 403.762.1450.
Final grading of 7 km of new lanes is underway with paving to follow. Traffic
will shift from the existing highway lanes to the new lanes in late June.
Roadwork to build another 2 km of new highway lanes at the project’s
east end will get underway later this summer.
Two 4-m x 7-m elliptical culvert wildlife underpasses are now in place, one
at the project’s west end and one towards the east end. These give wildlife
that might follow the fence toward the fence ends, a safer crossing option
than going around the fence ends.
Once traffic is moved to the new lanes, work on the existing highway bridges
(CP Rail, Bow River, Moraine Creek), and the twin to the new 25-m wildlife
underpass will begin. The old CP Rail bridge will be demolished due to its
poor condition, and rebuilt to match its new twin.
The existing Bow River bridge will have a 30 metre extension built to match
its new counterpart. The longer twin Bow River bridges will allow wildlife
to use a natural movement corridor along the Bow River under the highway.
Rockblasting for a 60-m wide wildlife overpass between Lake Louise and the
Icefields Parkway Interchange has been done in preparation for construction
of the overpass. A second wildlife overpass will be built just west of Moraine
Creek. Watch for associated roadwork and minor detours at both overpass locations
this fall. The overpasses will be arch type structures similar to the two
built in previous phases of highway twinning.
Fencing will happen in two phases: fence construction between the new Bow
River bridge to the project’s eastern limit will be tendered by the
fall; fence construction from the new Bow River bridge to the project’s
west end will be tendered next year.
Since ending the fence right at Lake Louise would funnel wildlife into the
hamlet, highway fencing will extend another 5 km to move the fence end west
of Lake Louise. A short section of fence has been built west of the Icefields
Parkway Interchange to pilot new methods for installation and other design
All four lanes of the newly twinned highway are expected to go into service
by late 2008.
Check out the new CD, Survival On The Move, available
at the Banff and Lake Louise Visitor Centres. The CD features two audio
tracks and a fascinating A/V show that highlight how the park’s 24
existing highway wildlife crossings are working to help sustain healthy
An overview of the Trans-Canada Highway Twinning
Project: Phase IIIB near Lake Louise, Alberta
© Parks Canada
Run your mouse over the colored symbols to view descriptions about
highway structures under construction. Click on the symbol to see
Wildlife will be able to safely cross the highway alongside the river. The higher bridges also leave room
for harlequin ducks to fly close above the water (as is their habit) when they move upstream to nest.
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