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Yahoo Oct 22, 2012 7:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stingray2004 (Post 5867823)
BC MoT hasn't made any announcements yet on twinning between Donald and Golden.

I know;) - I was just basing it on what someone here mentioned earlier (a page or 2 ago). They mentioned the 3 new projects and 2 were announced shortly afterwards so I was hoping they had inside information. The third project referred to twinning between Golden and Donald - but my concern is that they may be be referring to the short distance from the Donald bridge to the scales, which very much needs an upgrade but is trivial in length and leaves 30 km+ of relatively easy terrain untwinned with no passing lanes.

Doug Oct 22, 2012 7:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yahoo (Post 5855321)
Does anyone know why they didn't just continue the Coquihalla all the way to Alberta? I know it wasn't part of the project but it seems like a natural extension that could really speed up the trip and have better alignments than the TCH. A reasonable toll road could be built in 10 years couldn't it? (I still think the TCH should be twinned, but another highway wouldn't hurt).

Perhaps there were just too many parks on the way to Alberta?

Cost and politics. The Coquihalla began construction in the 70s as a push to open the Interior up to economic development. Construction stopped around 1980 due to massive cost over runs, a BC budget crisis and the political reality of the Lower Mainland holding far more votes than the Interior. Expo 86 was the impetus to resume construction and the tight deadline caused even more overruns. The Okanagan connector did not open until the early 90s.

Yahoo Oct 22, 2012 7:45 PM

Highway 63 twinning announced in Alberta. Mentioning it here since I believe it's about the same distance as remains on the Kamloops to Alberta border section (240km). Note that they are NOT awaiting federal funding. I think BC could learn something here. Ask for federal help on the provincial areas of the TCH for sure (called "Canada's main street" on the BC MoT website) - but put the big pressure on the feds to fund the upgrades in the national parks first. That's purely Federal - and if they see BC doing the right thing on the rest of the highway that'll be added pressure to fix up the park sections. As it is they see BC as relatively uninterested in completing the twinning anytime soon - so why should they care to fund their sections?
(provincial funding is actually decreasing over the next decade if what I've read is true ~710 in the past and ~650 now, but to be fair that could include federal money in the past - I don't know)

I realize 63 is over relatively easy terrain compared to in BC but BC isn't even doing the easy sections of the TCH. Alberta plans to twin 240 km in 4 years - but in BC the plan is to twin an additional what - 4.5 km or something over the next 4-5 years? And I'm not talking the massively expensive Kicking Horse section - I'm talking 4.5 km as part of 2 small bridge replacements that are urgently need of replacement anyway. And there are some big differences here. Alberta announced a schedule and budget, where in BC they made promises during an election but never announced a schedule (I guess voters will fall for anything). They even put up signs and reaffirm their intentions from time to time - carefully avoiding a schedule or full scale plans.

Looks like the bad press and death toll got to them...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ighway-63.html
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/po...605/story.html

Another bad accident closed the TCH highway in Rogers pass on Friday. 12 year old boy dead this time. Accidents will always happen but a double divided national highway will prevent all these head on collisions.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/dea...028/story.html

Someone accused me of only caring about the roads I drive. Strange since I was only commenting in the forums relating to those roads - so obviously those are the roads I'd comment on. As far as the whole highway - I think it should be twinned nationally - except perhaps at the very ends if it doesn't make sense locally. I know there are parts of Ontario etc that don't get used much - but I think a lot of that has to do with the poor condition of the highway. People take the faster and safer USA route to drive across Canada (plus gas is cheaper). How sad is it that we have to rely on another country for our roads. I'm not suggesting the remote parts of Ontario should be done first, but they should at least be done once the rest of the highway is twinned. When you think about the old rail line across Canada or even the original TCH it could easily be argued that it wasn't needed yet (at the time). As we see - big projects like this really open up the country and with our big country we need effective transportation networks.

Yahoo Oct 22, 2012 8:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug (Post 5875408)
Cost and politics.

I guess it always comes down to cost and politics. :haha:

Do you know if the entire Coquihalla highway costs were eventually fully paid for by the tolls?

I'm not a fan of toll roads unless there is a free public alternative and the toll is removed once the initial investment is paid off (as happened here I assume). It seems to me like twinning the TCH from the left coast to Kamloops could be paid for by tolls now that there is a free alternative highway.

Do some re-designation of the Coquihalla as highway TCH 1B or something (kind of like the Yellowhead highway is called the TCH too I believe to make people happy).

Given the tough road conditions in BC - particularly in the winter it seems like a case could be made to twin the entire BC TCH rather than just the eastern areas.

Phil McAvity Oct 23, 2012 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yahoo (Post 5875447)
Do you know if the entire Coquihalla highway costs were eventually fully paid for by the tolls?

That's a good question, especially coming from some yahoo. :D

I recall hearing years ago that the government kept the tolls long after the Coquihalla was paid for but I couldn't find any proof of that but what I did find was that the highway cost $848 million and the provincial Liberals announced that the tolls would be removed after they, and previous governments, had collected $845 million, so they basically stuck to their word.

I also agree with you about having a toll/toll-free option on our roads and highways. Why this isn't standard procedure these days just baffles me.

Daguy Oct 23, 2012 6:49 PM

On a happy note, the first phase of Monte Creek to Pritchard is nearing completion. I drove through a few days ago and line painting was mostly completed. I am happy to see on the web cam today that they are installing a median barrier!

http://wcs.pbaeng.com/projects/R2-Hwy1-Monte

http://wcs.pbaeng.com/httphandlers/q...0483&mode=prev

nname Oct 23, 2012 9:05 PM

I wonder if they will call that intersection "Exit 403" :D

Doug Oct 23, 2012 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil McAvity (Post 5875803)
That's a good question, especially coming from some yahoo. :D

I recall hearing years ago that the government kept the tolls long after the Coquihalla was paid for but I couldn't find any proof of that but what I did find was that the highway cost $848 million and the provincial Liberals announced that the tolls would be removed after they, and previous governments, had collected $845 million, so they basically stuck to their word.

I also agree with you about having a toll/toll-free option on our roads and highways. Why this isn't standard procedure these days just baffles me.

The Coquihalla toll made sense because the $10/car was cheaper than paying for the additional gas to take the non-tolled alternatives. I suspect the maintenance costs on the Coquihalla are high due to the elevations.

Doug Oct 23, 2012 11:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yahoo (Post 5875415)
Highway 63 twinning announced in Alberta. Mentioning it here since I believe it's about the same distance as remains on the Kamloops to Alberta border section (240km). Note that they are NOT awaiting federal funding. I think BC could learn something here. Ask for federal help on the provincial areas of the TCH for sure (called "Canada's main street" on the BC MoT website) - but put the big pressure on the feds to fund the upgrades in the national parks first. That's purely Federal - and if they see BC doing the right thing on the rest of the highway that'll be added pressure to fix up the park sections. As it is they see BC as relatively uninterested in completing the twinning anytime soon - so why should they care to fund their sections?
(provincial funding is actually decreasing over the next decade if what I've read is true ~710 in the past and ~650 now, but to be fair that could include federal money in the past - I don't know)

I realize 63 is over relatively easy terrain compared to in BC but BC isn't even doing the easy sections of the TCH. Alberta plans to twin 240 km in 4 years - but in BC the plan is to twin an additional what - 4.5 km or something over the next 4-5 years? And I'm not talking the massively expensive Kicking Horse section - I'm talking 4.5 km as part of 2 small bridge replacements that are urgently need of replacement anyway. And there are some big differences here. Alberta announced a schedule and budget, where in BC they made promises during an election but never announced a schedule (I guess voters will fall for anything). They even put up signs and reaffirm their intentions from time to time - carefully avoiding a schedule or full scale plans.

Looks like the bad press and death toll got to them...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...ighway-63.html
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/po...605/story.html

Another bad accident closed the TCH highway in Rogers pass on Friday. 12 year old boy dead this time. Accidents will always happen but a double divided national highway will prevent all these head on collisions.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/dea...028/story.html

Someone accused me of only caring about the roads I drive. Strange since I was only commenting in the forums relating to those roads - so obviously those are the roads I'd comment on. As far as the whole highway - I think it should be twinned nationally - except perhaps at the very ends if it doesn't make sense locally. I know there are parts of Ontario etc that don't get used much - but I think a lot of that has to do with the poor condition of the highway. People take the faster and safer USA route to drive across Canada (plus gas is cheaper). How sad is it that we have to rely on another country for our roads. I'm not suggesting the remote parts of Ontario should be done first, but they should at least be done once the rest of the highway is twinned. When you think about the old rail line across Canada or even the original TCH it could easily be argued that it wasn't needed yet (at the time). As we see - big projects like this really open up the country and with our big country we need effective transportation networks.

Alberta twined the TCH from Calgary to the Banff Park Gate in the mid 60s in expectation that the Feds would twin through the park. They did...20-45 years later.

Twinning to Ft McMurray is not trivial engineering. While probably still less expensive than building through mountain valleys, twinning AB 63 past Grasslands is mostly through muskeg.

240glt Oct 24, 2012 2:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug (Post 5877075)
The Coquihalla toll made sense because the $10/car was cheaper than paying for the additional gas to take the non-tolled alternatives. I suspect the maintenance costs on the Coquihalla are high due to the elevations.

Less about gas and more about time. Vernon to the coast via the canyon was about a 7 hour trip. Via the connector it's about 4.5

The canyon is still well travelled though.

Daguy Oct 26, 2012 3:31 AM

I drove back from Kamloops again today, and the entire segment of Monte Creek to Pritchard Phase I is indeed divided. I think most of us were hoping this project and Phase II would have a depressed grass median through the majority of the alignment, but I'm at least happy they decided to add a median barrier to improve safety.

SpongeG Oct 26, 2012 6:35 AM

i just drove from dawson creek via chetwynd to prince george and vancouver yesterday, and there was some construction down by 100 mile house they are doubling a large part of the highway there

Yahoo Oct 26, 2012 7:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daguy (Post 5880333)
I think most of us were hoping this project and Phase II would have a depressed grass median through the majority of the alignment, but I'm at least happy they decided to add a median barrier to improve safety.

Is a depressed grass median usually safer than a median barrier? Or are you just referring to how it looks?

Yahoo Oct 26, 2012 7:57 PM

Any word on when we'll see the full Monte? :haha:

I thought Phase 2 was delayed (created) because of issues with a grave-site. The MoT website doesn't have any indication about when phase 2 will start that I can see so hopefully this won't be a major hurdle. I would think there must be a respectful protocol for dealing with this kind of thing.

Daguy Oct 30, 2012 1:21 AM

:previous:

I don't know the advantages of a grass median vs barrier, someone else might want to field that. I always thought it was mainly for looks and a more open feel on the road. Maybe there's a benefit from being able to pull off into the median vs the barrier you hit it lol.

Phase 2 is supposed to be tendered this year, but due to ongoing consultation with the natives I don't see that happening.

Phil McAvity Oct 31, 2012 1:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daguy (Post 5884479)
:previous:
I don't know the advantages of a grass median vs barrier, someone else might want to field that. I always thought it was mainly for looks and a more open feel on the road. Maybe there's a benefit from being able to pull off into the median vs the barrier you hit it lol.

Obviously when building roads in hilly/mountainous areas, a grass median is prohibitively difficult and expensive but otherwise they are normal for a reason.

Daguy Nov 2, 2012 6:27 PM

:previous:

I'm aware of the cost savings with a barrier, and that in much of BC's terrain a grass median is unrealistic. What I was asking is whether there is much benefit for a grass median other than driver preference when building one is possible. If a grass median had been chosen for Monte Creek to Pritchard, it would have meant more loss of agricultural land and cost more, so I think that's a reasonable trade off.

240glt Nov 2, 2012 8:06 PM

^ Grass medians provide a much softer landing for vehicles gone out of control. Hard barriers perform their job of keeping the lanes segregated, but they make a mess of anything that hits them

Daguy Nov 12, 2012 2:09 AM

Monte Creek to Pritchard Phase I is effectively complete. When I drove through a week ago all four lanes were open but still a 80 km/hr speed limit, and now the 100 km/hr speed limit has been posted. Maybe there are some odds and ends they are finishing up and that's why it hasn't been posted on the Ministry's website yet.

splashflash Nov 13, 2012 1:02 AM

Caribou Highway
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SpongeG (Post 5880459)
i just drove from dawson creek via chetwynd to prince george and vancouver yesterday, and there was some construction down by 100 mile house they are doubling a large part of the highway there

The construction at 150 Mile House is finally complete. The new 4-laning construction just north of 70 Mile House is progressing. I had hoped that that section just south of the long straight stretch would be realigned. My guess is that that section will be the last improvement on the Caribou Highway project and the widening project will be shelved.


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