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

COVID-19: Salmon Arm council makes tough decisions to address economic stress

Among the city’s measures are tax breaks, layoffs and a project delay

COVID-19: Diabetes Canada donation bins becoming garbage dumps amid pandemic

Diabetes Canada has asked residents to stop overflowing bins with donations and garbage

Okanagan College students receive emergency funding

Funding is available to domestic and Indigenous students from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training

Request to bypass bike lanes along property by Salmon Arm airport gets partial approval

City’s planning meeting looks at bike lanes on Auto Road and 20th Avenue SE

Okanagan temperatures to be in the double digits all week

Kelowna’s forecast projects a high of 17 degrees on Thursday

Summerland couple sharing positive messages

Carsten and Val Nielsen are displaying professionally made signs during COVID-19 pandemic

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

COVID-19: Vernon company creates reusable respirators

From athletes to those most at risk, VO2 Master’s adapts production to fill PPE need

Okanagan College grading system critical despite COVID-19 pandemic

On heels of petition penned by student, VP academic says grading system necessary for accurate assessments

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Spike of visitors to Princeton-area stressing grocery supply chain and healthcare teams

‘We are really not set up to have this many people at this time of year.’ Area H Director Bob Coyne

Most Read