Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

A recent call for the Alberta and B.C. governments to take another look at building a shortcut connecting central Alberta and the B.C. Interior has caused plenty of stir among British Columbians – but don’t hold your breath on it coming to fruition.

Earlier this week, Central Alberta Economic Partnership chair John Vandermeer told Black Press Media’s Red Deer Advocate that the coalition would like to undertake an economic development study for the region, including a reassessment of the viability of the Howse Pass route – a route through the mountains that has been brought up a number of times over the decades.

The shortcut, which underwent its last serious review in 2005, would shave about 95 kilometres off the current 760-kilometre driver from Red Deer to Kamloops. According to Vandeermeer, a number of Alberta municipal leaders told the coalition they were interested in the potential economic boost a shorter mountain route could bring to locals in central Alberta.

However, any feasibility review will have to count the B.C. government out.

The Ministry of Transportation told Black Press Media Wednesday, a day after the NDP government unveiled its 2020-21 budget, that current plans include funding other highway improvement projects as well as bridge infrastructure.

This includes expanding a 4.8-kilometre section of the Kicking Horse Canyon along the Trans-Canada Highway to four lanes. Construction is expected to begin in the fall, marking the fourth and final phase of the revitalization project along that route.

The proposed shortcut sparked mixed reviews by Black Press Media readers, specifically those who live closest to the route’s end point which would be about 30 kilometres west of Golden.

In an online poll, roughly 385 people voted in favour of the shortcut, while 220 voted against the idea and 30 said they weren’t sure, as of noon Wednesday.

Some readers were of the view that another major highway would simply lead to more crashes, while others remained doubtful that the route – which would run through Banff National Park – could ever pass environmental reviews.

A majority voiced support for expanding the Trans-Canada Highway before breaking new ground on yet another major infrastructure project.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police search for suspect in robbery at Saanich 7-11

Suspect told the cashier he was armed

COVID-19: School-based lunch programs expand to feed thousands during crisis

SD61 and community partners provide meals to 1,000 families per week

VicPD sees 29 per cent jump in thefts from cars in early April

Officers are reminding people to lock their vehicles, remove valuables

Cowichan Valley man dies in single-vehicle collision

First responders called to Miller Road shortly after midnight on Thursday

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

132,000 B.C. jobs lost just the start of COVID-19 impact, finance minister says

Finance Minister Carole James says ‘this isn’t the entire picture’

Most Read