Crash-prone mountain highway to get twinned

BANFF, Alta. — Beautiful, but treacherous. That’s often the description of the scenic drive on the Trans-Canada between Banff and Lake Louise, west of Calgary.

Now Ottawa is pledging $100 million to change the second part. Drivers who negotiate a narrow, collision-prone section of the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park are in for some road relief.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in the touristy mountain town of Banff yesterday to announce a $100 million project to twin the Trans-Canada Highway west of Castle Junction.

“Today’s investment is about making the Banff Trans-Canada Highway a more reliable drive for everyone,” said the Prime Minister. “It is also about strengthening the ties of travel and trade between the dynamic economies of Alberta and B.C.”

Harper noted the stretch of highway has an accident rate 17 times higher than the Alberta average. The latest deadly crash was in January, which involved five tractor-trailers and left three people dead.

The new project will twin an additional 14 kilometres of highway and when completed, drivers will benefit from the twinning of the entire roadway all the way to Lake Louise.

Nine kilometres of twinning is already underway in Banff National Park and is expected to be complete by the fall. Road construction of the new announcement is expected to start in 2009.

Funding for the highway twinning is being funded through the federal government’s $33 billion Building Canada infrastructure plan.


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