Remote explosive system will keep stretch of Highway 1 safer from avalanches

By The Canadian Press
August 8, 2016 - 12:37pm

VANCOUVER — Long delays caused by avalanche control on Highway 1 are a regular annoyance during winter travel through southeastern B.C., but the provincial government says that’s about to change.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says a new avalanche mitigation system will be operating this winter in Three Valley Gap, near Revelstoke.

The system permits remote firing of explosive charges into slide-prone slopes, allowing avalanche control around-the-clock and in all weather.

Currently, helicopters drop explosives onto dangerous slopes, but the work can only be done during daylight hours and in favourable weather.

Lengthy closures of Highway 1 are common near Revelstoke as vehicles wait for helicopters to finish, or foul weather prevents any avalanche control.

Stone says German-based Wyssen Avalanche Control has been awarded a $2.1-million contract to build eight remote firing systems through Three Valley Gap, with three to be operating this winter and the remained to be installed next year.

The Canadian Press

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