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$100 million pledged to twin deadly stretch of highway

BANFF, Alta. -- The federal government will spend $100 million to complete the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway...


BANFF, Alta. — The federal government will spend $100 million to complete the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway to Lake Louise, but its funding commitment fell short of what’s needed to complete the project to the B.C. border, according to a story published by Canada.com.

The twinning of 14 kilometres between Castle Junction and Lake Louise is expected to be finished in three years.

“It’s a phased approach,” said Bill Fisher, Parks Canada director-general for western and northern Canada. “We’ll move forward with each phase as money becomes available,”

Nine kilometres of work, at a cost of $87 million, has begun east of Lake Louise and is expected to be completed by the fall.

The two-lane section west of Castle Junction has an accident rate 17 times higher than the Alberta average Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday, in making the funding announcement at the east gate to Banff National Park.

“The cost of all those accidents in wrecked vehicles, commercial traffic delays and, worst of all, injuries and lost lives, is literally incalculable,” Harper said.

There have been 12 traffic fatalities between Castle Junction and the B.C. border since 2002. Half of those occurred in the nine kilometres west of Lake Louise.

The federal government will use its $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure program, announced in the 2007 budget, to finance the latest stretch of highway twinning.


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