BANFF, Alberta — The twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park is complete and government officials hope the project will cut down on the number of human and animal fatalities.
The project has been underway for years and on Friday the final 35-kilometre section from Castle Junction to the B.C. boundary was unveiled.
The highway was originally built in the 1950s as a scenic, low-volume, two-lane highway. Twinning began in 1981 east of the Banff Park Gates.
Now the entire 82 kilometres of the Trans-Canada through the park is twinned and officials say the work will make it safer for everyone.
The project includes four new wildlife overpasses and 18 underpasses along the highway.
Blake Richards, Conservative member of Parliament for the Wild Rose riding, says a number of agencies contributed over the years to complete the project at a cost of about $317 million.
“As an Albertan, much like anybody else, there is a frustration certainly when there was congestion of traffic but more importantly it’s about safety,” he said Friday.
“To be able to complete this is a very significant thing, for the park, for people travelling through the park, for the goods and services that flow through here as well.”
Officials say exclusion fencing on both sides of the highway has already reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions by over 80 percent.