Kicking Horse Canyon: Closed highway to reopen one week early

WATCH: Drivers will be able to take the new section of Highway 1 through the Kicking Horse Canyon on Friday at 6 a.m.

Closed for the past two months because of ongoing construction, B.C.’s Kicking Horse Canyon will once again be open to traffic this week.

The windy section of the Trans-Canada Highway near the mountainous border between B.C. and Alberta has been undergoing much-needed straightening since April 2021.

The highway will reopen on Friday morning, Nov. 25 at 6 a.m., and the latest improvements include new bridges and viaducts along eastbound lanes, with B.C.’s government touting the section as now being more reliable and efficient.

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The latest closure started on Sept. 26 and was slated to originally reopen on Dec. 1. Work on the westbound lanes continues.

During the closures, traffic has been rerouted, resulting in an added driving time of around 90 minutes.

“Travellers and commercial truckers are set to benefit from these significant upgrades through the Kicking Horse Canyon,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s transportation minister.

“The old highway’s sharp corners are gone, with new viaducts and structures across sections of the canyon that improve the safety and reliability of this important interprovincial connection.”

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In announcing the early reopening, the province says motorists will see nearly two kilometres of new bridges and structures, with the highway passing through two major rock cuts.

While the early reopening is good news, construction isn’t done, with another stretch of full closures slated for spring 2023.

The province says the next phase involves realigning and widening 4.8 km, along with four new bridges and nine new viaducts.

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The project is expected to finish during the winter of 2023-24, and is anticipated to have a price tag of around $600 million.

For more information, visit the province’s website about Kicking Horse Canyon.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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