Truckers adapting due to month-long shutdown of Highway 1 through Kicking Horse Canyon

The trucking industry in B.C. says while it is not pleased with the impending month-long shutdown of the Trans Canada later this month, the shutdown is also giving the industry an opportunity to adapt.

“A lot of companies have embedded switch points into their routes, particularly during these closures where literally a westbound truck will meet an eastbound truck, the drivers will switch and they’ll head back the other way,” Dave Earle, the president of the BC Trucking Association told NL News.

But he also did say that the shutdown will be “a pain” as it is creating additional financial and logistical challenges for truckers.

“It will have fuel surcharges or rates built in the spot markets,” he said. “You know shippers are very much working with their carriers to say ‘how much is it going to cost?’ but it is costing more to move goods certainly than it did a number of weeks ago.”

“When we look at the delays on Highway 1, as much as we can staff it, it is taking longer to get goods there which is increasing those costs.”

Construction through Kicking Horse Canyon will see the Trans Canada shut down completely between Golden and the Alberta border from April 19 to May 20. Drivers will be re-routed through Radium Hot Springs during that time, adding an hour-and-a-half to their trip to and from Alberta.

“It is going to be a lot better when its done, so a little bit of pain in the short term,” Earle added, noting truckers were faced with a similar closure at this time last year.

The entire project to four-lane the highway through the Kicking Horse Canyon is expected to be completed in 2024.