Crews are doing investigative fieldwork in the Kicking Horse Canyon over the next several weeks as part of the preparation for major highway improvements to begin late this year.
Crews have started collecting physical data in the Dart Creek area, as well as other locations near the highway alignment. This fieldwork will help to inform the ongoing engineering design of the four-laning improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway through the canyon.
Workers will practise safe physical distancing and use personal protective equipment. Every effort will be made to minimize any environmental disturbance to the local area. Minimal traffic impacts are anticipated as this work is carried out.
B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO) has directed employers to take all necessary precautions to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission and illness to themselves and their employees. This includes ensuring workers maintain physical distance with a minimum of two metres (6.5 feet) apart from each other, both in the course of their duties, as well as during breaks. Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 like symptoms will be directed to self-isolate at home for at least 10 days.
While highways and roads remain open, the PHO recommends people stay close to home and avoid any non-essential travel.
A design-build contract for the fourth and final phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project is expected to be awarded in late summer or early fall 2020, with initial construction to begin in the fall. It will bring the last remaining 4.8 kilometres of narrow, winding two-lane highway up to a modern four-lane, 100 km/h standard.
The project is being delivered under the province’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). It prioritizes hiring local workers, Indigenous peoples, women and other under-represented groups, and provides more training opportunities for apprentices, so they can complete their certification.
The CBA ensures competitive, transparent wages with fair working conditions that foster a workplace free of discrimination and harassment and honours the cultural differences of all involved on the project.