Starting with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) in 2005, Mike Lorimer has been preparing himself for the Kicking Horse Canyon Project for 15 years.
Starting out as an area manager with MOTI, Lorimer has worked his way through various projects, from ground work on the Coquihalla, to district manager based in Smithers and a regional director in Prince George, before landing as the executive project director in Golden for the ongoing construction in the Kicking Horse Canyon.
He has plenty of experience working along the Trans-Canada Highway, saying he is well versed with the unique issues this section of the highway poses to those who travel it daily.
“Living by this highway for a long time, I get the value of this highway to the communities along it,” said Lorimer.
“To get the chance to see this through, it’s pretty exciting, while getting to work on a major project like this.
“I understand how important it is for people to get through safely on this highway. At the end of the day we want to have a more reliable highway.”
Lorimer will be splitting his time between Golden and Kamloops, where his family is based, throughout the duration of the project.
He says he’s excited to explore Golden and enjoy everything the town has to offer and hopes he can have a presence in town.
“When I was district manager up in Smithers, I would be at Safeway, at the bakery and people would come and say hey,” said Lorimer.
“I’ll be pretty focused on the project here, but I’m going to enjoy my time here and I think I’ll be up here as much as I can.”
Lorimer said in particular he’s excited to check out the skiing and mountain biking.
He says the crew overall will be establishing a permanent presence in town, with people taking up long-term rentals in Golden as they make the move here for the project.
Lorimer says at the end of the day, he believes it’s going to be a good and unique project with the chance to positively impact a lot of lives in the Golden area.
“This is a pretty unique project and to be a part of it, it’s pretty cool,” said Lorimer.
“It’s one of the more technically challenging projects from a geotechnical perspective, across the world. It’ll have a big impact.”
While Lorimer is making himself at home in Golden, the hard work has only just begun, with preliminary closures to the highway underway, prior to the mass closure that is expected to start on April 12.