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Posted: January 25, 2023

Kootenay parkway to get $10.4 million in upgrades

Approximately $71 million is going to be spent over three years for projects in the mountain national parks, including $10.4 million in Kootenay National Park (KNP), the federal government recently announced.

The projects include roadway renovation to Highway 93 in KNP, highway work in Banff National Park between Castle Junction and Lake Louise, critical infrastructure improvements in Lake Louise, upgrades to Parks Canada dispatch in Banff and Jasper, as well as several roadway and bridge improvements.

This investment is part of the Government of Canada’s recently announced funding of $557 million over three years to ensure the continuation of infrastructure projects and maintenance work for Parks Canada’s assets supporting the critical function they provide to Canadians and visitors.

Parks Canada will renovate various aspects of Highway 93 from Banff National Park through Kootenay National Park to improve visitor and wildlife safety on this critical roadway, starting this spring.

The $10.4 million project will include avalanche mitigation measures, culvert and bridge replacement and rehabilitation, and slope and retaining wall stabilization. It will also improve highway safety by widening shoulders, adding passing lanes, enhancing wildlife fencing, improving intersections, and repairing the road surface. These projects will begin in spring 2023 and traffic will be impacted for the duration of construction in various locations.

Regional travellers will also want to know about the $11.3 million Trans-Canada Highway roadway rehabilitation project on Highway 1 in Banff National Park.

Two sections of the Trans-Canada Highway between Castle Junction and Lake Louise will undergo necessary roadway paving and associated improvements, which could include fencing, retaining walls, culverts and shoulder widening, as required. To support sustainability, asphalt materials will be recycled where possible.

The project is expected to start in 2023. Traffic will be affected in these two sections during construction.

In the Lake Louise area, critical repairs to community water and sewer infrastructure will improve service quality for residents, stakeholders and visitors, while the redesign of Lake Louise Drive will improve safety and visitor experience. The Parks Canada dispatch centres in Banff and Jasper will receive equipment upgrades to ensure quick and effective responses, essential for public safety during emergency situations.

Lastly, Parks Canada will conduct repairs and rehabilitation on primary and secondary highways in Jasper, Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks, and initiate design work for bridges in Jasper National Park, improving the safety and travelling experience on these important corridors.

“Canada’s national parks are core to our Canadian identity and to our tourism portfolio. Our government works with local Indigenous groups and rural communities to ensure that we provide visitors with high-quality experiences while protecting our natural wonders for future generations. Today’s investments will upgrade critical infrastructure in national parks across Canada, improving the quality of life for surrounding communities while keeping the parks safe and accessible all year round,” said Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre.

e-KNOW file photos


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