Expect delays if you plan on driving Highway 1 this summer between Kamloops and Alberta.
At its Thursday, April 21 meeting, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board heard from Erik Lachmuth, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s (MOTI) district manager for the Okanagan Shuswap. Lachmuth provided the board with an overview of projects occurring on Highway 1 this summer from Kamloops to Alberta, related traffic delays and how the ministry plans to minimize the impact on drivers.
Between Kamloops and Sicamous, Lachmuth said this year will be similar to last year regarding the number of projects and related delays. Delays of up to 20 minutes may occur with the Chase West project, and five minutes or less with the Chase East project.
“Ford to Tappen, less than 20-minute impacts on that,” said Lachmuth of the 4.3-kilometre section of highway, west of Salmon Arm, that’s to be widened. “That’s the four-laning that’s going on there. A lot of work is going to be happening off line but there will be some… that takes place.”
Minor delays are expected with the four-laning work for the Salmon Arm West project between 1st and 10th avenues.
Longer delays of up to 20 minutes may occur with the Highway 97B to Canoe resurfacing project.
“Just a head’s up to folks, that will include quite a significant amount of resurfacing on 97B itself, and only about six kilometres of resurfacing on the Trans-Canada Highway from that 97B junction heading east,” said Lachmuth.
Delays of 20 minutes or more may occur with maintenance work at the Bruhn Bridge by Sicamous. However, Lachmuth said that work will be done in May and October – not during the summer.
“That will be single lane/alternating when it’s going on,” he said.
Lachmuth commented briefly on work outside his jurisdiction, from the Perry River Bridge to the Alberta border. Projects along this stretch include the Three Valley Gap overhead, the VSLS (variable speed limit system) upgrade expected to begin in May, the Albert Canyon east wall replacement and the Quartz Creek four-laning and bridge replacement, all of which may involve delays of up to 20 minutes. There’s also four-laning in the Kicking Horse Canyon, which may result in delays of 20 minutes or more.
“This does not include the specifics of when we have the Kicking Horse Canyon detour in place, as it is currently, going down Highways 93 and 95, which of course has an impact on that corridor,” said Lachmuth.
There are no Parks Canada projects this year that will impact traffic through Rogers Pass.
Lachmuth said the ministry is committed to raising awareness around the delays, providing advanced notice so people can plan, “not just a day in advance, but in some cases a month or more in advance of what’s going on.”
He said Drive BC will continue to be updated in real time so people can find out what’s happening on their route and/or if something unplanned has occurred.
Electoral Area A (Rural Golden) director Karen Cathcart asked about the “dramatic deaths of our big horn sheep” along the highway in her area and what the province was doing to address the matter.
“I think there’s a been a significant loss since the highway started, the construction of the highway and the shut down of Highway 1…,” commented Cathcart.
Lachmuth encouraged her to get in touch with MOTI’s manager in that district.
More information about MOTI’s projects between Kamloops and the Alberta border can be found on the ministry’s website.
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