Highway 1 - Kicking Horse Canyon Project

The Kicking Horse Canyon Project is located on the Trans-Canada Highway between Golden and Lake Louise. Four phases of improvements will provide a safer and more efficient journey for all travelers, and a competitive corridor for the movement of goods from the Alberta border to ports on the west coast.

Kicking Horse Canyon project area

This part of the Trans-Canada Highway passes through some of the most breathtaking scenery to be found in Canada. Favoured by tourists, the summer traffic averages 12,000 vehicles per day with commercial vehicles ranging between 13% and 30% depending on the season.

The area is subject to many rockslides, debris torrents and avalanches. The collision rate in Kicking Horse Canyon is more than 3 times the provincial average for a similar 2-lane rural highway. The section just east of Golden was originally a narrow, winding two-lane highway with steep rock faces on one side, and a drop-off to the CP Rail main line and Kicking Horse River on the other. First built in the 1950s, there had been no major upgrades due to the significant construction, maintenance and operational challenges.

Phase 4 - West Portal to Yoho Bridge

The fourth and final phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project will:

  • Upgrade more than four kilometres through the most challenging section of the canyon to improve safety
  • Realign 13 curves and widen to four lanes with median barrier and feature wider shoulders for cyclists
  • Mitigate rock fall and avalanche hazards by using bridges, retaining walls, wide catchment ditches and other measures
  • Add wildlife exclusion fencing and wildlife passage structures to reduce vehicle-animal collisions
  • Improve recreation opportunities
  • Minimize impacts on wildlife populations and habitats

Project cost:

The total project cost for Phase 4 is estimated at $450 million. The project is cost-shared, with the Government of Canada contributing $215 million.


  • Preliminary engineering has been completed for Phase 4 and there is a plan to issue a design-build Request for Proposals that would see construction begin in 2019-2020.

Public Consultation & Design

There have been three public open houses for Phase 4 planning. We continue to work collaboratively with the communities and all stakeholders as designs are finalized and as projects are moved into construction. Public consultation is ongoing for this project.

Completed Work

Over 22 kilometres have been upgraded under the first three phases of the Kicking Horse Canyon project, at a cost of $327 million shared by the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada.