3 Parts of B.C.’s Trans-Canada that would Knock Diefenbaker’s Socks Off

August 30, 2012
3 Parts of B.C.’s Trans-Canada that would Knock Diefenbaker’s Socks Off

“This highway, may it serve to bring Canadians closer together. May it bring to all Canadians a renewed determination to individually do their part to make this nation greater and greater still, worthy of the destiny that the fathers of confederation had expected when, through their act of faith, they made it possible. And above all, I express the hope and the prayer today that this highway will always serve the cause of peace, that it will never hear the marching tramp of warlike feet.” –Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, September 3, 1962 I wonder what Diefenbaker would say if he could see the Trans-Canada Highway in B.C. now, 50 years after he officially packed down the last small patch of pavement at Rogers Pass in front of about 3,000 eager travellers. Undoubtedly, he’d be relieved to discover the only battles along the 8,000-kilometre route have been fought against natural...

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Trans Canada Highway 1 – Historical Articles

August 27, 2012
Trans Canada Highway 1 – Historical Articles

As part of the celebration for the Trans-Canada Highway’s 50th anniversary, we’ve collected a number of articles from years gone by. Since the 1950s, the ministry has published an employee-driven newsletter called the Road Runner. One of the major focuses of the Road Runner has always been the work we’re doing, and it was an exercise in nostalgia looking through our archives for Trans-Canada related stories. Interested in the opening of the first Port Mann Bridge? How about the Trans-Canada Highway’s 25th anniversary? Or maybe historic pictures of what the road used to look like? We’ve got those and more, and we’ll be adding them over the coming weeks for you to check out. We’d also like to acknowledge the Revelstoke Museum & Archives for kindly providing copies of The Revelstoke Review, as they appeared in 1962, with many stories related to the highway opening. Revelstoke Review Road Runner

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Captured on Canvas – The Trans-Canada Highway’s 50th Anniversary

August 27, 2012
Captured on Canvas – The Trans-Canada Highway’s 50th Anniversary

To commemorate the Trans-Canada’s 50th anniversary, we wanted to do something special. After all, it’s a big milestone for what is one of the most important roads in the country. We set out collecting old photographs and articles to share, but then came the question of building a site for the content and how we wanted that site to look. Then we saw the work of Rob Buchanan, a Media Designer at Parks Canada, and we had our answer. Rob’s work beautifully captures the feelings of adventure and nostalgia we were looking for. Besides being a great image, it’s also a way to showcase the partnership we have with Parks Canada in maintaining the Trans-Canada (they look after all sections of the route that run through federal parks). We thought people would be interested in the story behind this graphic, and Rob was kind enough to give us a...

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Bus Stops, Bridges and Smoother Surfaces Ahead: Bridging the Week

August 25, 2012
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What have we got going on in transportation news for you this week? How about bus stops, cycling lanes and cycling fences, centreline rumble strips, enhanced delineation, completed paving on the Patullo Bridge, new contracts awarded and resurfacing underway.  Throw in some numbers from BC Ferries and transit service updates and you have yourself all the elements of a good read, if you ask us. So, grab your coffee and settle in . Cycling for Highway 4 Port Alberni roads are getting a safety boost for cyclists and motorists alike this summer. The shoulders of Port Alberni Highway/Redford Street will be widened to add cycling lanes making it safer for cyclists and pedestrians and improve access through the city’s core. On Highway 4, in the Kennedy Lake area west of Port Alberni, cycle fencing will be installed on the top of the newly restored retaining walls. What is cyclist...

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Road Trip: Hagwilget Bridge Over Time

August 23, 2012
Road Trip: Hagwilget Bridge Over Time

From planks and cedar ropes, to steel and concrete, the Hagwilget Bridge near Hazelton has evolved over a span of more than 150 years. These days, the Hagwilget Bridge, a 140-metre long steel and cable, single-lane suspension link is being structurally upgraded and strengthened by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. This ensures that commercial vehicles, residents and tourists will continue to safely cross over the plunging Bulkley River Canyon. A new pullout is also being constructed on Highway 62, near the bridge, to create more room for motorists to park, take in the impressive view, walk across the bridge and look 80 metres down to the craggy depths of the canyon. Every year, about 50,000 tourists are drawn by the area’s wilderness scenery, outdoors opportunities and cultural interests to cross the bridge and visit historic Old Town Hazleton, Kispiox Village and the K’San Historical Village and Museum. Interpretive...

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Toads On The Road II – The Migration Returns

August 22, 2012
Toads On The Road II – The Migration Returns

Last year, we talked about a mass migration of toads that had to cross Highway 19 north of Courtenay on Vancouver Island. Events like these are actually not uncommon in B.C., and in some areas they can happen several times a year. Like near Summit Lake on Highway 6, just southeast of Nakusp. Having to cross this highway just once would be challenging enough, but these toads actually make the trip three times in their life. They spend the winter in the mountains on the opposite side of the road. As the weather warms, they hop across the highway to lay their eggs in the lake. Then, as the temperature starts to drop again, they bound back to the mountains. It’s a cycle that sees thousands of toads on the road at different times of the year. And we do our best to get them across. That’s why we’ve installed...

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Ride, Don’t Landslide: Keeping Rock and Debris off BC Highways

August 20, 2012
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British Columbia is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in Canada. But with large amounts of precipitation, lush vegetation and mountainous terrain, it’s also one of the most landslide-prone. In fact, one of the country’s largest recorded landslides occurred east of Hope in 1965. The landslide resulted in about 47 million cubic metres of rock stretching across three kilometres of Crowsnest BC Highway 3 (imagine 18,000 Olympic size swimming pools filled with rock and you’ve got the idea). Ongoing weathering processes caused the mountainside to weaken and collapse, with serious consequences. Since then, our team of engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers have enhanced measures for reducing the impact of landslides. Active Measures reduce the impact of a landslide when it happens. Examples include: Trench: a hole dug at the slope’s bottom, which prevents falling rock and debris from landing on the road. Retaining wall: a solid structure...

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