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Innovation in Interchange Design – Golden Hill to West Portal


With a greater understanding of the importance of planning, designing, constructing and operating sustainable infrastructure, the highway design and construction industry must endeavor to develop new methods to reduce adverse environmental impacts and conserve natural resources. The Golden Hill to West Portal highway project in British Columbia is one such innovative example where infrastructure renewal can integrate with the surrounding environment and enhance mobility for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and wildlife. This project, funded through a federal-provincial cost sharing agreement under the Building Canada Fund, is the third phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project. The curvilinear alignment provides a transition from the Town of Golden to the strategic east-west link, the TransCanada Highway. The project has been procured following the design-build model which engaged three consultant-contractor teams in a design competition. This paper describes some of the challenges and opportunities unique to this innovative interchange and highway alignment. Construction on the 4 km long corridor will begin in 2010 and includes an interchange with Golden Donald Upper Road that incorporates a roundabout junction, ungulate guards on the access roads to the TransCanada Highway, cyclist and pedestrian paths linked to a trail system, and a dedicated wildlife crossing structure over the TransCanada Highway. There were many environmental challenges along the alignment such as the big horn sheep, which are listed as a protected species within the corridor. Other challenges involved the risk of avalanche or rock falls during construction and post construction, which was a major concern to CP Rail since their major pacific line is situated at the base of the mountainside. The project serves as an innovative example of design geometry that balances the needs of a variety of road users while adapting to the topographic and environmental constraints inherent along the corridor.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Laurie Humble
Glen Furtado
Geometric design