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  #81  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2012, 9:13 PM
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Yeah on the one hand there are bigger priorities than Yoho, but on the other if the feds agreed to twin all segments in Mt. Revelstoke, Glacier, and Yoho National Parks, that would be around 100km of twining, and would considerably shorten the drive time.
I don't see that there are bigger priorities than Yoho - at least for the Feds, since that's their part of the road. There are definitely a lot worse sections within BC, but they're provincial sections.

What do people consider priorities? If it was up to me:

1. Aging narrow bridges (I think there are still 2 or 3 like the Clanwilliam bridge - which had to be the scariest of the bridges to cross).

Yes!, they just diverted traffic off the old Clanwilliam if you check out the highway cam)
http://wcs.pbaeng.com/projects/R2-Hwy1-Rev

2. Areas that are particularly dangerous & narrow (as shown by accident statistics). Like for example along Shuswap west of Sicamous.

3. Areas that should be relatively easy to upgrade in long stretches - such as west of Golden which should have been done years ago. A long stretch of good highway can make the bad parts tolerable.

4. Sections that are super expensive like phase 4 of the kicking horse project. I realize it's awful, has 40kph sections, it's narrow, and has continual problems with rocks and animals on the highway - we'd get more bang for the buck spending the $600M+ on the rest first. I like seeing the Big-Horns and if everything else is done it makes it easier to bite the bullet and just fund the last part.

Anyone care to speculate on the next sections to be upgraded? (Me thinks it will be the two or three remaining bridges that look like the Clanwilliam design). They really seem like the temporary bridges our troops carried across Europe in WW2 rather than permanent structures.
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  #82  
Old Posted Sep 25, 2012, 7:19 PM
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Phase 2 of twinning between Monte Creek and Pritchard is supposed to go to tender this year, but the negotiations with the Shuswap Bands are still ongoing. Twinning as far as Hoffman's Bluff is scheduled for completion by 2017; whether that actually happens is largely dependant on the negotiations.

I agree about the bridges. There is another overhead west of Clanwilliam, and a narrow rail underpass that should be replaced as soon as possible. They would probably join up with the Clanwilliam project, so I see those among the next sections announced.

The Kicking Horse Canyon Project site mentions that Phase 4 can be implemented in phases, and given the cost, that's probably what will happen. I'd expect at least one of the phase 4 bridges to be announced soon, and maybe a project between Donald and Golden as well. It would be cool to see a third interchange planned at the westernmost intersection in Golden, allowing the TCH to be a freeway through the town.
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  #83  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2012, 5:19 AM
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I always chuckle crossing the border and seeing the arrogant "Best place on earth" welcome to BC sign. The road in Banff is being doubled, yet the "best place" is a crumbling narrow 1 lane road. And unfortunately they're fixing the narrow bridges in Yoho park - which is a pretty good indication there are no plans to actually twin the road like the BC government says they will. I mean - you don't fix an old bridge if you're going to replace it or if you're about to expand it.

BINGO! Don't you get it? It just not a high priority for BC. The majority of BC taxpayers live on the coast and that's where the infrastructure $$ are going. The Feds are free to do what they wish, build a freeway thru a 'wilderness' park lol. People on the BC coast don't really care about that remote part of the province, nor should we! Its not a go-to destination

The fact is: the traffic numbers on the #1 thru the BC Rockies (west of Salmon Arm) are insignificantly small compared to the many highways in the Okanagan, LM and Vancouver Island. Plus, our tourism is from the states (I-5/Air/Cruise Ship) and Asia (air) - not from the east (road from Alberta).

BC is about to get an NDP government too, and that gov will be supported from VI and the LM - good luck with much happening out on there in the fringes for 10 or more years! After the gateway program is done, the next focus will be VI.

Cheers.

Last edited by craneSpotter; Sep 27, 2012 at 5:30 AM.
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  #84  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2012, 2:41 PM
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People on the BC coast don't really care about that remote part of the province, nor should we!
Wow. what a jerk.
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  #85  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2012, 6:20 PM
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Trouble with this arguement is that while the TCH may not see a lot of traffic (volume wise) a very large percentage of that traffic is commercial as it is only one of 3 E-W routes limking BC with the rest of Canada. As such it is a highly important route economically. A few years back I recall being told by one of the rangers in Kootenay Park that the cost to the economy of closing the TCH was in the order of $1 million/hour. That's why the focus when it comes to fires/avalanches etc. is to get the road open as quickly as possible at any cost. Upgrading the road to 4 lanes would have a very quick pay back in terms of economic value- just from the time savings alone in driving the route.
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  #86  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2012, 9:23 PM
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BINGO! Don't you get it? It just not a high priority for BC. The majority of BC taxpayers live on the coast and that's where the infrastructure $$ are going. The Feds are free to do what they wish, build a freeway thru a 'wilderness' park lol. People on the BC coast don't really care about that remote part of the province, nor should we! Its not a go-to destination

The fact is: the traffic numbers on the #1 thru the BC Rockies (west of Salmon Arm) are insignificantly small compared to the many highways in the Okanagan, LM and Vancouver Island. Plus, our tourism is from the states (I-5/Air/Cruise Ship) and Asia (air) - not from the east (road from Alberta).

BC is about to get an NDP government too, and that gov will be supported from VI and the LM - good luck with much happening out on there in the fringes for 10 or more years! After the gateway program is done, the next focus will be VI.

Cheers.
At first I thought you were being sarcastic, but I think you really are a Vancouver centric individual who thinks the world revolves around them. BC is a large province and the trans-Canada highway links it to the rest of our country. If you think that's insignificant then that's sad for you.

The BC gov website indicates a billion $ a year goes over the Donald bridge. Hardly chump change. And a lot more would go through BC if they had decent transportation networks.

I think the interior cities and citizens would disagree with you regarding tourism. Although BC has done a lot lately to really hurt tourism such as charging for parking at Prov parks. They finally removed that but I know many Albertan's that have found new destinations outside of BC because of it and similar anti-tourism initiatives.

BC spends a fortune advertizing for tourism, but given your "nor should we" comment I now get the arrogant "BC is better than where you're from" sign welcoming people to the province.

As for the comment about building a freeway through wilderness park... there was a lot of opposition to twining the highway through Banff from environmental groups and various people that feel parks shouldn't be for humans. Now that it's done many of these groups are amazed that they did it right. They made it safer for humans and for people. The Banff park animal overpasses and underpasses are being copied worldwide in areas where animals must be protected from highways. You see - we can have it all - progress & environmental protection. I just wish the Feds would hurry up and fix the highways in Yoho and Glacier - since they're vital transportation links to Canada. You know... the remote areas outside of Vancouver.

Last edited by Yahoo; Sep 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM.
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  #87  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2012, 9:45 PM
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And again he point seems to have been missed that it is really up to the Feds when it comes to the #1 through Yoho and other national parks in BC, and so far they have essentially given us the finger haha!

Thats also why some in BC may feel a little disjointed with the rest of Canada.

People always seem to forget that building highways through BC is not like building them through the prairies, they are insanely expensive. This is not an excuse not to do so, but it does make the process far more difficult. this is why I wish highways in general were a federal program like in the US.
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  #88  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2012, 11:13 PM
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[QUOTE=Yahoo;5847298]When I asked the feds about it they unofficially indicated that they were waiting for BC to make the request. They've been upgrading the road through Banff for ~40 years. I hope that Yoho hasn't been ignored simply because the folks in BC haven't bothered to ask. Most of the road through Banff serves no other purpose than connecting to BC so I can't see the logic in not continuing the upgrades.

You do notice one thing driving through BC - the old national park roads were always built to a higher standard than the provincial parts of the highway. Wider shoulders etc. I realize it's super expensive to upgrade the highway - but even in places where it would be relatively cheap like Golden to Donald they haven't touched it.

Someone in BC put up the signs indicating the road would be twinned from Kamloops to Alberta. But that's about all the information you can find. My take on it is that it's a political ploy from a government with no actual plan. They're just hoping by putting up signs the voters will be happy and assume it's underway. And for the most part I think many people assume there is a plan and a schedule simply because there are signs.

I'm hoping that there are a bunch of backroom secret negotiations going on. If I was a BC politician I would have complained bitterly by now. BC joined confederation because of the railroad - yet seemed all to happy to leave it at that. The powers that be need to complain about how far BC is falling behind on the national highway. Many provinces are almost completely twinned yet BC has barely started.

As an Albertan I'd certainly support more federal transfer payments to fix up the roads in BC. Although from what I've heard - some of the worst roads in Alberta are around the tar sands projects which is pretty shocking considering how important the area is to Canada's pocketbook. I know a guy who works in Ft Mac and he says the traffic is a nightmare - as in worse than NYC. Man, tar + sand, isn't that one of the main ingredients in asphalt?

Last edited by Yahoo; Sep 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM.
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  #89  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2012, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by craneSpotter View Post
BINGO! Don't you get it? It just not a high priority for BC. The majority of BC taxpayers live on the coast and that's where the infrastructure $$ are going. The Feds are free to do what they wish, build a freeway thru a 'wilderness' park lol. People on the BC coast don't really care about that remote part of the province, nor should we! Its not a go-to destination

The fact is: the traffic numbers on the #1 thru the BC Rockies (west of Salmon Arm) are insignificantly small compared to the many highways in the Okanagan, LM and Vancouver Island. Plus, our tourism is from the states (I-5/Air/Cruise Ship) and Asia (air) - not from the east (road from Alberta).

BC is about to get an NDP government too, and that gov will be supported from VI and the LM - good luck with much happening out on there in the fringes for 10 or more years! After the gateway program is done, the next focus will be VI.

Cheers.
Do you mean east of Salmon Arm? West of it AADT is around ~8000, and summer is ~12000, which is well within the range for twinning a highway. I'll agree that winter traffic doesn't usually seem heavy, but summer time traffic is quite heavy in all segments of the highway east of Kamloops, with plenty of holiday traffic from Alberta, as well as truck traffic. If you don't think traffic is significant from Alberta, I'd like you to explain how I saw 14 straight vehicles from Alberta when I was heading between Revelstoke and Malakwa this August. There's tons of holiday traffic from Alberta, sometimes 2/3s of the traffic on the road is from Alberta, you just don't see it because they mostly holiday around Mara Lake, Sicamous, Salmon Arm, Scotch Creek, and Kelowna. If they want to see a city they go to Calgary or Edmonton.

The growth has been very significant in the past few years, so if you havn't driven the route recently (or at all) you are maybe unaware of it.
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  #90  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2012, 5:11 AM
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The new Donald Bridge, on Hwy 1 between Revelstoke and Golden, with another 3.5 km of twinning. Shot was taken last Friday, Sept. 21./12:



Source: Flickr/TranBC
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  #91  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2012, 7:36 PM
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The new Donald Bridge, on Hwy 1 between Revelstoke and Golden, with another 3.5 km of twinning. Shot was taken last Friday, Sept. 21./12:
Cool picture! I'll be driving there for Thanksgiving. I'm really hoping that I can take the bridge, but I think the railroad bridge still has a ways to go. I know traffic is now diverted off the old Clanwilliam bridge. Both of those bridges were pretty scary to drive. It seems like every time I drove over the old Donald another section of guardrail was gone. I assume because someone ran into it - hopefully not while flying through the air into the river.

Hopefully they'll be putting up center line barriers. They cheaped out west of Salmon Arm. I know they can always add them later - but lets face it "later" is political talk for "never". It's a safety issue and can't be that expensive so I don't know why they don't just do it correctly right away.

I'm not sure what changes we will see by the Donald weigh-station. Hopefully that will see a serious redesign of the roadways. The lanes there force traffic to do lane changes and slow down for trucks. If it was properly designed the highway traffic wouldn't/shouldn't even notice the weight scales - at least not have to slow down for them.

I sure hope they announce Donald-Golden twinning now that the bridge is done - since 3.5 km is nice, but when they've got something like 300 km to go at this pace they'll be building the replacement bridge in 2062 and the road still won't be twinned.

I know the politicians in Golden and Revelstoke really want fast action on the horrible roads - I just hope they have the political power to get something done. Having the main highway closed at least 1 month every year is unacceptable and must really hurt the economy of interior BC.

Last edited by Yahoo; Sep 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM.
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  #92  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2012, 8:15 PM
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Premier Announces Investments in Capital Projects, Transportation Infrastructure
For Immediate Release
2012PREM0118-001456
Sept. 28, 2012
http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_rele...118-001456.htm

It sounds good - but is short on any specific details. $650M over 10 years ($509M in addition to 3 year service plan). That's less than they have been spending so that's always a concern. And if you consider the kicking horse phase 4 will cost about $650M then we might only see another ~4 km upgraded in the next 10 years - which would be really unfortunate. I can only hope the $650M is in addition to matching federal funds so we might actually see some significant progress. But who knows if the feds will match anything.

And hopefully "3 year service plan" isn't a nice way to say "we're done with any further projects for the next 3 years". Given how many projects get delayed by a couple years at a time (see Hilltop Road or the Kicking horse phases) this could mean further feet dragging. And since there is still no schedule or project announcements I have to wonder if there are actually going to announce anything within the next 5 years. They could just be planning to spend it in 10 years - with projects not starting for many years after that.

I know that's how they work things in Calgary. They approved an interchange in 1984 - and keep announcing it every 5 years. It was to be done before the 1988 Olympics. The latest information is that it'll be done in 2010 (not a typo). Which would be amazing since they haven't started yet. But their capital budget now indicates 2017. Other road upgrades were actually designed in the 1970s and are still awaiting funding even though politicians and surveys indicate it's a priority.

Last edited by Yahoo; Sep 28, 2012 at 8:35 PM.
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  #93  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2012, 12:37 AM
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It sounds good - but is short on any specific details. $650M over 10 years ($509M in addition to 3 year service plan). That's less than they have been spending so that's always a concern.
Yeah. The feds provide matching funds on these projects so we are looking at ~$1.3 billion over the next ten years.

But when you consider that nothing was really done between Kamloops and the AB border until the early 2000's (aside from the Malakwa twinning east of Sicamous circa 1985) with ~$700 million spent to date.

It seems that continuous projects will continue henceforth. $Billions$ are still required. It's moving along, not quite as fast as we would like it, but still moving forward.
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  #94  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2012, 4:15 AM
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Donald bridge looks good.
I was excited about the $650 million until I kept reading Yahoo's post. Now I'm just depressed. Man it's frustrating the slow pace and lack of commitment on the TCH.
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  #95  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2012, 7:42 AM
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It depends where they spend it, if they focus on the easiest sections you could potentially get a lot of KMs out of that money, but I have a feeling they are going for the more difficult sections first, as they have been doing over the last 5 years with the Kicking Horse canyon and several bridge structures.

The improvements on BCs highways over the last 5 years has actually been really impressive. People here also have to remember that the TCH is not the only major route in BC.

All the highways in the Okanagan have been getting major overhauls / improvements at the same time recently, along with the Cariboo highway projects and all the major highway projects in Metro Vancouver.

Remember, over the last 10 years:

New Seat to Sky highway
Kicking Horse Canyon + other projects along TCH
Border program (twinning highway 10 and 15)
All the highway upgrades in the Okanagan, especially the major ones between Penticton and Vernon (including the new 4 lane section around Oyama)
All the new twinning segments of the Cariboo Connector.
SFPR
Gateway (35 km of the #1 major upgrades + new Port Mann Bridge)
New Pitt River Bridge
New Okanagan Bridge in Kelowna
Twinning of Simon Fraser Bridge in Prince George
New highway interchanges on the Island
etc....

So, BC's highways have been going through a major upgrade throughout the province, and every year are continuing to get better.

If all that money was dumped into one highway, such as the #1, it probably could be full freeway from Van to Calgary now, but sadly, there are so many regions and connections that need expansion / work that without a Federal program, the #1 is going to have to have its one piece at a time upgrades.

And obviously the western half of the province (Okanagan west) has far superior highways than east of the Okanagan, simply because that is where the major bulk of BC's population resides. The same reason why the highways in southern Ontario are far better than those in northern and central Ontario.
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  #96  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2012, 2:03 PM
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Given the Federal government's focus on trade with Asia, the probability of matching funds is very high. Would the NDP walk away from TCH twinning if it meant losing the Federal dollars?

As an aside, I cycling from Calgary to Vancouver when my two 10 year old sons back in June. You get a real sense of not only the high traffic on the TCG but also the decay. Sections between Golden and Kamloops have eroded shoulders and exposed rebar on bridges.
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  #97  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2012, 5:07 PM
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As an aside, I cycling from Calgary to Vancouver when my two 10 year old sons back in June. You get a real sense of not only the high traffic on the TCH but also the decay. Sections between Golden and Kamloops have eroded shoulders and exposed rebar on bridges.
Yep!
That's the embarrassing state of the national highway between the two largest centres in western Canada.
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  #98  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2012, 4:10 AM
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As an aside, I cycling from Calgary to Vancouver when my two 10 year old sons back in June. You get a real sense of not only the high traffic on the TCG but also the decay. Sections between Golden and Kamloops have eroded shoulders and exposed rebar on bridges.
And you think its a good idea to go cycling along a friggin highway that congested and decaying with your 2 10 year old kids??? Seriously, am I the only one that thinks this is asinine when people go take their family cycling on one of the most dangerous highways???

They need to ban cyclists on the major highways!
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  #99  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2012, 1:58 PM
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And you think its a good idea to go cycling along a friggin highway that congested and decaying with your 2 10 year old kids??? Seriously, am I the only one that thinks this is asinine when people go take their family cycling on one of the most dangerous highways???

They need to ban cyclists on the major highways!
The kids understand the safety risk. We always hit the road at sunrise and stopped by around 11 to avoid traffic. They had a great time and there aren't two many 10 year olds who can say they rode 1,000 km in 9 days. There aren't any alternatives for less congested roads along that route. Next year we're going to cycling Baja.
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  #100  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2012, 2:27 PM
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Yep!
That's the embarrassing state of the national highway between the two largest centres in western Canada.
Very few people actually drive between those two points though.

I understand why highways in BC are the way they area. Actually kind of like the fact that they are under developed. Best way to ruin a beautiful area is to make it accessible.



^ I bike the Baja in '98. What a blast. Terrifying too.
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