Kicking Horse Canyon: Phase Four — British Columbia, Canada

  • British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Project Value

$440M CAD





Kicking Horse Canyon
Cut 2 Blast – Looking East. At nearly 60m at its tallest, Cut 2 was a challenge to construct adjacent to a live highway. Blasting took place during 1 hour highway closures allowing just enough time to clear debris off the highway before resuming traffic operations.

The Kicking Horse Canyon is a vital commercial and tourist corridor located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies – known for spectacular scenery and long considered one of the most dangerous sections of the Trans-Canada Highway. Kicking Horse Canyon Phase Four part of a project to improve safety and mobility over approximately 26 km of the highway, with phase four focused on realigning and widening 4.8 km of the narrow and winding two-lane highway into a four-lane, 100-km/hour divided highway.

Mitigating Risks Along The Highway Corridor

Considered the most technically challenging section of the project by the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, the project mitigates multiple geotechnical and avalanche risks along the alignment such as falling rocks, active landslides, and steep slopes with bridges over avalanche paths, rock catchment ditches, anchored retaining walls, and other structures. The fourth and final phase of the program was substantially complete in winter 2023-24.

“While it at times seemed like an impossible job in an impossible place, the team met all critical milestones on time and on budget while dealing with incredibly challenging terrain and difficult conditions.  I am very proud of the legacy we created with a much safer and more reliable highway for all roadway users.”  Mike, Executive Project Director, Transportation Investment Corporation

Kicking Horse Canyon Project: A Joint Venture Approach

Aecon, Parsons, and Emil Anderson formed an integrated joint venture known as Kicking Horse Canyon Constructors GP and was selected for the design-build project to realign the highway through the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The project held challenges for every discipline throughout design and construction.  The rugged terrain and difficult access to each worksite required unique and innovative methods for all aspects of construction including foundations, substructures, walls, and girder erection. 

Collaborative Planning for Constructability And Minimal Traffic Disruption

ENR Kicking Horse
Click to view the article

Beginning during the pursuit phase, careful planning and ongoing coordination between design engineers, construction engineers, and construction teams was critically important to ensure the final plans were constructable while maintaining traffic on the existing highway. The intimate collaboration between all parts of the team including the owner and subcontractors ultimately ensured the project was delivered on budget and met all schedule milestones including successful opening the alignment to four lanes of traffic on schedule.

Kicking Horse Canyon Project Scope

We provided the following wide range of services on the project as an integrated joint venture partner:

  • Lead structures designer
  • Lead roadway designer
  • Construction engineering
  • Construction estimating
  • On-site construction personnel

ENR Magazine Special Feature: Kicking Horse Canyon

The Kicking Horse Canyon project in British Columbia has been a multiple-phase process. We’re proud to deliver safety and capacity improvements to the Trans-Canada Highway. Check out the ENR special highlight featuring our work on this iconic project!

Our Integrated Delivery Advantage

As both a designer and a builder, we have unique offerings over our competition, it’s time we take greater advantage of it. Our Integrated Delivery team of experienced construction industry experts can add value to existing contracts and new project pursuits in cost estimating, scheduling, claims support, construction engineering, construction technology, and building information modeling (BIM). Learn more.

Be the first to receive updates about Parsons news, events, and innovations. Subscribe Today!

Back to top
facebook-pixel linkedin-pixel linkedin pixel focused image