Tekano, who is the official overseeing the four-laning project for the Transporta-tion and Infrastructure Ministry, says the second phase of the Kicking Horse Can-yon undertaking was especially difficult because it involved replacing the 405-me-tre-long by 90-metre-high Park Bridge and upgrading about 5.8 kilometres of highway approach. About 2.5 million kilograms of struc-tural steel, enough to manufacture more than 1,900 cars, and 1.5 million kilo-grams of rebar used in footings and piers were used to build the bridge along with 20,000 cubic metres of metal mesh over the slopes to reduce the chance of a slide. During peak construction of phase two, there were 175 workers on site. More than 2.8 million cubic metres of earth was moved, enough to fill a bumper-to-bumper lineup of articulating off-road dump trucks stretching from Regina, Sask. to Vancou-ver. About 50 million kilograms of asphalt, enough to fill 500 railway cars, and 12,000 cubic metres of concrete, enough to pro-vide basements and steps for 350 houses, was also used in phase two. The final phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon project includes constructing about 4.5 kilometres of new highway and building retaining walls and rock catch-ment ditches through a very challenging section of the canyon. The final leg of the project is still in the design stage. “Kicking Horse Canyon has prob-ably posed the most challenging piece of technical engineering in Canada,” Tekano says. “The last four-and-a-half kilometres remains the most challenging pieces of 20 | ROCKTOROAD | MAY/JUNE 2017 Trans-Canada highway left to be replaced. It’s very steep terrain, with high rock cliffs and variable rock conditions and signifi-cant avalanche areas so all these have to be accommodated in the design and they also influence the actual construction.” IMPORTANCE OF HIGHWAY 1 The highway project is not the biggest the B.C. government has on the go just now, but Tekano says it’s important because it’s vital to Alberta and the rest of Canada and the Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry wants to ensure that the roadway is safe, as the highway is used by thou-sands of drivers each day. “Billions in goods are moved through the Trans-Canada Highway corridor annu-ally and to our ports,” he says. “The Trans-Canada is a key link between the western provinces and our Pacific Gateway.” Transportation and Infrastructure Min-ister Todd Stone says communities will be better connected and businesses will be better able to move their products with the highway upgrades. “The Kamloops to Alberta border four-laning program is important to British Co-lumbia because the Trans-Canada Highway is one of our most important trade and tourism routes – it’s our province’s vital economic link to the Alberta border and the rest of Canada,” Stone says. “This route sees up to 12,000 vehicles per day, 15 per cent of which are heavy trucks carrying between $24 billion and $32 billion per year in commercial goods. It also connects communities and provides access to many beautiful and diverse recreation areas.” However, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan has complained that the Trans-Canada project is proceeding too slowly. He has been critical of B.C. Premier Christy Clark for failing to take action and suggests that, at the rate it is going, it will take 70 years to finish the project. “Modernizing B.C.’s most important connection to the rest of Canada has not been a priority for the B.C. Liberals. I want get moving on this work, and we can’t af-ford to wait for Christy Clark. The safe, smooth movement of people and goods is vital to economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities for apprenticeships and careers in construction.” Horgan says the pressing need to im-prove the Trans-Canada was made clear last fall when a rock slide that injured two workers resulted in the highway being closed in Yoho National Park. “The highway was shut for three whole days and drivers were forced to make a 100-kilometre detour,” he notes. “Delays and accidents like this can be minimized if we do the work.” However, Transportation and Infra-structure Minister Stone says the govern-ment is moving ahead by committing with the federal government more than $980 million since 2001. “We recognize there’s still more to be done,” he says, “and remain committed to continuing advancing four-laning projects along the corridor to increase safety for those who live on or travel along the cor-ridor, and will help ensure goods can get to market efficiently.” Tekano says while there are challenges, the highway project is proceeding. He notes that the second phase of the Kick-ing Horse Canyon project, for example, a large project, came in 21 months ahead of schedule. It’s not unusual, he says, for projects along the route to be at different stages, with one being started while another is finishing. As a result, there is usually plan-ning and engineering work underway for one project while another along the high-way is being built. “It’s very much a progressive program and while it’s been a major challenge the industry is rising to meet that.” For the latest project profiles, visit www.rocktoroad.com.