Trans-Canada Highway twinning
In the early 1950s, 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 provide safe wildlife crossing opportunities
- Improve the flow of traffic and goods on Canada’s national highway.
Upgrades on a six kilometer (km) section of the TCH in Yoho National Park are now complete. Guided by the same goals, the six km stretch of highway known as Phase IVA, has been twinned starting at the Alberta/British Columbia border extending westward. Phase IVA was completed in fall 2018.
Keeping wildlife safe
Wildlife mitigations 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) has been installed on Mount Bosworth east of Field, B.C. to proactively manage snow accumulation. This new system allows avalanches to be triggered more effectively to reduce the risk of avalanches impacting the highway or wildlife fencing.
Consultation and planning for the next phase
Consultation and environmental assessment began in 2017 for upgrades on the remaining 40 km section of TCH in Yoho National Park, known as Phase IVB.
Parks Canada continues to work on the preliminary design and consultations with Indigenous partners. A public review of the draft detailed impact analysis will occur when design work and consultations have progressed further. Funding is not available for construction on this section at this time.
Ongoing updates on the twining project and information on further public participation opportunities will be shared as available.
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||Ongoing|
|Public Review of Draft Detailed Impact Analysis||TBD|
|Refine Draft Detailed Impact Analysis and Engineering Design as required||TBD|
Decision on Detailed Impact Analysis
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Public consultation and engagement
Noelle Summers, Consultation Coordinator for the Trans-Canada Highway Twinning Project (Phase IVB), email@example.com