The federal government announced last week the completion of twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) through Banff National Park.
A significant infrastructure project, twinning of the final 35-km two lane section of highway from Castle Junction to the British Columbia border is the result of a $317 million investment made over the last decade by the Government of Canada. The project improves motorist safety, reduces highway wildlife mortality and reconnects habitat, and improves the flow of goods and services on Canada’s national highway. This investment not only helped protect and improve Canada’s iconic Banff National Park, it also provided important support to local communities through job creation and by encouraging tourism.
The government has been moving their way west through the national parks, making improvements to the highways. In March of this year, Kootenay/Columbia MP David Wilks announced that Parks Canada was being promised $391 million over the next six years towards improving highways, bridges, dams and other infrastructure.
As parks moves west through B.C., Wilks hopes that some of those funds will go towards road improvements in Glacier National Park.
Twinning the Trans-Canada Highway all the way through Glacier is a massive project that was estimated by Parks Canada to cost 1-2 billion dollars, but Wilks believes it is important to get started as soon as possible.
“You have to start somewhere,” he told the Golden Star in March. “Whether it’s Yoho, Glacier or Mt. Revelstoke we need to get to the point where we can twin that highway. It’s the gateway to Vancouver…we need to have it more free-flowing.”
It is not yet known when decisions will be made regarding the allocated funds or exactly how much of the $391 million will be given to Parks Canada each year.
The entire 82-km section of TCH in Banff National Park is now twinned.