Todd Hubner: I was hired originally as a summer student during my fourth year of university, with what was then known as Construction Branch. did i miss it or is it not in here That has a spin-off effect as well (hotels, restaurants, motor services) in regions that need a steady influx of money for long term sustainability. Roadside Worker Safety: How Do You Look at It? Everything by hand, cross-sections, drafting as-built drawings by hand with India ink pens. The Coquihalla Highway was the only toll road in BC, until the toll was eliminated in 2008 after recovery of the construction cost of the Hope-to-Merritt section.

Extensive grasslands also occur at low-elevation areas, particularly toward Merritt. Interestingly, the current Highway 5 is not the first highway in B.C. We have shared them forward with the local area manager for review. Click on “+” or “–” to zoom in or out. Joe: Ron: Being quite young, there was no epiphany. First time using an electronic distance measuring instrument. An alternate approach to Kamloops via Princeton and Merritt is Highway 5A, the route that predates the Coquihalla, which opened in 1986. In the Alps, a vast region that has been travelled for many centuries, all roads, including the latest freeways, avoid high plateau regions. This website is where the B.C. Today Merritt is a vibrant and growing community, an important hub between the coast and the interior of the province. This route significantly reduced travel time, and was originally opened as a toll-highway. Avalanche guns mounted on platforms beside the highway battle the elements to keep the highway open in winter. Any people who remember these considerations? It is a freeway located in southern British Columbia, is roughly 200 km long, was completed in 1986 and had 32 fatal crashes between the years 2004 and 2013 (Dangerous Roads). I have ran 2 rounders a day from Chilliwack to Merritt for 15 years and I am still amazed with the coq. Avalanche chutes scar the mountainsides and are a visible reminder of the steep terrain that surrounds the highway. If possible, travel should be planned for outside of these peak times: As always, drivers are reminded to follow signs, obey posted speed limits, and watch for traffic control personnel and construction workers. . This should read “one of the most heavily travelled routes”. Ron: How little technology we had. if you know any thing contact me at As you drive along the highway, you may notice some small signs in the shape of an old steam locomotive, with Shakespearean names. Thanks for connecting with us and for the great catch. (I rode my motorcycle from Merritt to Hope down many kilometers of completed gravel road bed in 1983.) More than 1,000 pieces of heavy equipment worked non-stop every day during the summer of 1985 to get it done! HAPPY BIRTHDAY The the second phase connected Merrit with Kamloops (completed in 1987), and the third phase, the Coquihalla Connector which linked Merritt to Peachland and the Okanagan (opened in 1990). Thanks for sharing your story with us – we love hearing personal highway history like this. TranBC: What is your most memorable moment from that project? Did you work on the Coquihalla? (May 6th, 2020)

Kamloops is 10 times the size of Merritt and Hope.

Merritt is a hub, where three highways converge – 5, 5A, and 8. These signs commemorate the approximate locations of the Kettle Valley Railway stations along today’s Highway #5. As you know the geography along this route can be restrictive but we continue to make improvements as outlined on our Trans-Canada four-laning program website here: I still find it hard to believe that we worked through, and endured the harshness of the winter weather. I took the Coquihalla highway after it opened on my way to Expo 86. Todd: The Coquihalla project has nothing but great memories for me. I’ve worked on the 144″ water pipeline in Libya, Bay Area Rapid Transit extension and the China Town extension for San Francisco Muni and none of then presented the technical difficulties that the Coquahalla did. Nine million tonnes of gravel (625,000 dump truck loads) were hauled. Hope that this helps! Mike McLaren: I was an Engineering Aide 2, and dealt mostly with the office, calculating quantities and survey notes. It took more than 10,000 people 20 months of continuous work to open Phase 1 of the Coquihalla, on May 16, 1986. to have this designation. The first phase of construction connected Hope to Merit (opened in 1986). From Friday at 8 am to Sunday at 8 pm, an additional counterflow will be in place. The Coquihalla corridor also plays a vital role in our Pacific Gateway strategy by supporting the fast and efficient movement of goods between BC, the rest of Canada and the rest of the world. However, in retrospect, many years later, the significance of shoving a four-lane freeway over the top of a range of mountains in a year and a half seems to be an amazing accomplishment. Enter your email address to receive updates to your British Columbia Blog by email. Valleys are lived in, so service stations and emergency services are never far away. I’d like to help but I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking. In order to offset the cost of fast-tracking construction, Phase 1 was made a toll highway, … I understand that the caribou have migratory routes that traverse the area where the Coquihalla was built and that tunnels were built specifically for animal migration. These factors were disregarded when the Coquihalla and the 97 connectors were built. Classic Whitehall Spirit 1, Wolf Pack in British Columbia, Canada. All rights reserved. Up-to-date travel information can be found on Drive BC’s Twitter. Commentdocument.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a39f8bc62f27da7fa78b82ff4890d9a3" );document.getElementById("c26638c5e7").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Great work out there, through these troubling times. Because of geographic and geological constraints of that route (high, steep cliffs) there was not cost-effective way to increase capacity of that route. Safe travels out there! The extra lane will be used for northbound traffic on Fridays and Saturdays, and southbound on Sundays. With the second and third phases, which linked Merritt to Kamloops and to Peachland respectively, overall travel time was significantly reduced, opening up a connection between major coastal communities and the interior of BC and providing a faster, safer alternative to the Trans-Canada Fraser Canyon route. The following towns are located on or near the Coquihalla Highway (listed in order from south to north): Hope Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Our office hours are Hope to Kamloops itinerary Current Emergency Highway Advisories and Resources, we’ve collected images, videos and stories, How New Maintenance Contracts Will Make Highways Better. Travelling northbound from Hope, Highway 5 follows the Coquihalla River until near the summit of the Coquihalla Pass, then follows the Coldwater River to Merritt.

Thanks for your message. From the “Canadian Geographic” website. All environmental work was planned and performed under the supervision of environment and fishery experts. Hi, I enjoyed the article. Can’t say the same for sfpr hwy17 or hwy7 or hwy97 or pretty much every other highway in bc besides highway 1 through the lower Fraser, Thanks Mae! Kudos to all my coworkers for doing the impossible. Coquihalla Photos. She was working for Bridge Branch at the time, but transferred over to Construction Branch after Phase 1, for Phases 2 and 3. Location: The Coquihalla Highway runs from Hope north to Kamloops via Merritt. Set into the hills beside Logan Lake in the heart of the Highland Valley, the community of Logan Lake was originally established as a company town to support a copper mine, but has since bloomed into a beautiful rural destination and one of the more popular communities in the interior of British Columbia. These roads are designed to follow valleys, even if it means digging expensive tunnels in narrow valleys and under passes.

Orca Dreams is Canada's first whale watching luxury base camp. Avalanche chutes scar the mountainsides and are a visible reminder of the steep terrain that surrounds the highway. Travelling at modern highway speeds it is difficult to imagine the formidable task of constructing a rail route through this rugged section of BC.
Thanks Bart and Moe show! That being said, BC Highway 1 and 3 are still available for travellers who wish to take the lower, slower route. Mike: The amount of work we accomplished without the technology we now have. Early design concept of lululemon's new global headquarters in Vancouver (RENDERINGS), Painted memorial bench near Kitsilano beach to be removed by Park Board, The Shipyards on North Vancouver's Lonsdale waterfront to open next month. The 115 km section between Hope and Merritt follows earlier cattle trails (1876), the Kettle Valley Railway (1913-59) and oil and gas industry pipelines (begun 1958) through the BC Cascade Mountains, following the Coquihalla and Coldwater Rs (Coquihalla is a Halkomelem Salish name meaning "stingy"). I am curious about the statement that it’s the most heavily travelled route in BC. Much of the Coquihalla Highway is built upon the original rail bed of the Kettle Valley Railway. “Satellite” combines map & photo. TranBC: What stands out for you when you think back about your work on the Coquihalla? We are sorry to hear you are not happy with the rate of progress to four lane the Trans-Canada from Kamloops to the Alberta border. When the Coquihalla opened, it wasn’t just a faster route to the interior of the province; it also became a vital link between the community of Merritt and the rest of the province. Todd: My most memorable moment was when I met my wife on the project. Travellers be warned: Summer lane closures on the Coquihalla Highway begin this week — and will last until the fall. It’s part of the history behind our “can do” ministry; an organization that has always taken the challenge and – no matter what – delivers. Countless people have driven through the snow shed, but not many can say they’ve driven on top of it!