If you're planning on heading to Banff National Park this week, Parks officials are reminding motorists of a major utility upgrade project occurring at the East Gate over the next few weeks.

According to officials, the construction work is slated to begin on Tuesday and will finish on May 3, weather permitting. 

"To allow the work to be completed, both lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway at the East Gates will be closed for eight days, and through traffic will be re-directed to Lane 1 while the work is underway. Lane closures may result in significant delays, so visitors and residents should plan and give themselves extra time," Banff National Park stated on its social media. 

Motorists are reminded that park pass sales will continue through the open lanes, but to remember to slow down and be mindful of on-site workers.

"Follow the directions of the signage, video message boards and traffic flaggers."

The construction announcement isn't the only one that is occurring in Banff National Park. One of the most popular roadways in the park is also set to be under construction as early as this month. According to Parks Canada, Lake Louise Drive hosts about one million vehicles per year. The road connects the community of Lake Louise to upper Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, which are two of the most visited destinations in Banff National Park.

"Over the last ten years vehicle traffic on Lake Louise Drive has risen by roughly 70 per cent."

The construction, part of the Lake Louise Area Strategy, 'has identified this road as a major opportunity to improve ecological integrity and visitor experience in the Lake Louise area.'

Some of the proposed construction for this year includes asphalt resurfacing and road repairs, and a roundabout proposed for the intersection at Sentinel Road, Fairview Drive, and Lake Louise Drive. Other elements include better traffic flow that connects St. Piran, Chateau Lake Louise, and Upper Lake Louise parking, which is meant to ensure pedestrian safety, improvements to the Fairview day-use area, as well as updated signage, road paint, lights, and arrows to improve pedestrian crossings and sharing of the road.

Due to the construction, visitors are asked to book a shuttle if they are planning to see Lake Louise or Moraine Lake.

"Due to high demand, visiting Lake Louise and Moraine Lake requires planning. Parking lots fill up before sunrise and remain full until sunset. Taking transit or booking a Parks Canada shuttle is easy, stress-free and the only way to ensure you see these iconic lakes. Booking your shuttle in advance is required," Parks Canada stated.

According to the Parks Canada website, reservations for the suttle are required for all shuttles departing the Park and Ride to either lake.

"Tickets are for a one-hour window; you may show up anytime during that hour. Once at the lakes, you may stay as long as you choose and connect between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake on a first come first serve basis, via the Lake Connector shuttle (available to Parks Canada Shuttle reservation holders only). Your ticket includes a return shuttle service from either lake back to the Park and Ride when you are ready."

As of 2023, Moraine Lake Road has been closed to personal vehicles year-round. Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and commercial buses are permitted from June to mid-October. Exceptions are possible for visitors with valid parking placards, for people with disabilities and guests of Moraine Lake Lodge.

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