If you plan on travelling to or through Banff this year, it might take a bit longer than usual.
Recently, the Canadian government announced $71 million for important initiatives in the national parks of Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, and Banff taking the brunt of the funding.
Banff National Park will see seven different projects take place:
1. Lake Louise sewer and water rehabilitation
- To enhance services for locals, stakeholders, and visitors, Parks Canada will finish ongoing renovations to the community of Lake Louise's water and sewer infrastructure. The project just received $12.1 million in funding bringing the total amount of funding to $23.75 million.
2. Lake Louise Drive rehabilitation and modernization
- For the purpose of safely transporting people to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, Lake Louise Drive will be modified to make room for transit infrastructure, private vehicles, and cyclists. Over a million vehicles use this road annually, and new traffic management strategies and road layouts for various modes of transportation will improve accessibility and the visitor experience. Additionally, Lake Louise Drive crosses a crucial wildlife corridor, therefore strategies for enhancing habitat connectivity will be incorporated into the designs to permit species to migrate freely. Between the Trans-Canada Highway and the lakes, improvements to the route will welcome visitors and enhance the travellers’ experience. The project will cost an estimated $9.8 million.
3. Parks Canada’s Dispatch Console System replacement
- With the completion of this project, the Dispatch Centers in Jasper and Banff will have updated dispatch technology. Parks Canada's Mountain Parks Radio Dispatch offers bilingual service (French and English), 24-hour radio dispatch, and voice-over-internet protocol radio and phone dispatch, 365 days per year. It will cost an estimated $1 million.
4. Trans-Canada Highway roadway rehabilitation
- In order to increase road safety, two sections of the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park will undergo repairs that include fencing, retaining walls, and possibly shoulder widening and culverts. The project is anticipated to begin in 2023, and traffic will be impacted while it is being built. Wherever possible, asphalt materials will be recycled to promote sustainability. $11.3 million will be spent on the project.
5. Highway 11 roadway rehabilitation
- In order to increase road safety, a 6.3 km segment of Highway 11 in Banff National Park will undergo substantial repairs that include stabilizing nearby slopes, repaving the surface, possibly replacing guardrails and culverts, and removing an outdated kiosk island. The project is anticipated to begin in 2023, and traffic will be impacted while it is being built. Around $4.3 million will be spent on the project.
6. Highway 93 South roadway renovation
- Parks Canada will renovate various aspects of Highway 93 South from Banff National Park through Kootenay National Park to improve visitor and wildlife safety on this critical roadway. The project will involve slope and retaining wall stabilization, culvert and bridge repair and restoration, and avalanche prevention measures. By enlarging the shoulders, adding passing lanes, increasing the wildlife fencing, enhancing intersections, and restoring the road surface, it will also increase highway safety. These projects will start in the spring of 2023, and there will be some traffic issues while they are being built in different places. $10.4 million is estimated to be spent on the project.
7. Icefields Parkway / 93 North roadway rehabilitation
- A section of the Icefields Parkway near Poboktan Creek in Jasper National Park requires reconstruction to address a freeze-thaw resiliency deficit and improve geohazard mitigations. By addressing the continual interruption to the route, this project will increase roadway safety. The southwestern abutment of the Nigel Creek Bridge in Banff National Park will be repaired and rebuilt, and the supporting slope will be further netted to offer erosion protection and prolong the life of the bridge while enhancing roadway flow. Wherever possible, asphalt materials will be recycled to promote sustainability. $11.3 million is estimated to be spent on the project.
To see all the other projects that will be taking place in the other parks, click HERE.
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