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Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay national parks to see infrastructure upgrades

A vehicle drives under the welcome sign on Highway 1A, also known as the Bow Valley Parkway, in Banff National Park in 2020 as seen in this handout image provided January 23, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Parks Canada **MANDATORY CREDIT**

BANFF, Alta. — Parks Canada has announced money to improve safety and experiences for visitors to four mountain national parks in Alberta and British Columbia.

The $71 million in federal funding for Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay national parks includes upgrades to critical infrastructure, such as Parks Canada dispatch for emergency calls, as well as to several roadways and bridges.

It also includes improvements in the community of Lake Louise, Alta. 

The hamlet has been one of the busiest areas in Banff National Park, which gets about four million visitors annually.

A recent report noted a 29 per cent increase in visitors throughout the park between 2010 and 2019 — and some roads around Lake Louise have seen a 71 per cent increase in traffic volume.

The projects in Lake Louise include sewer and water upgrades and a redesign of Lake Louise Drive, which sees about a million vehicles each year.

There will also be improvements on the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park in Alberta and Yoho National Park in B.C. 

Some of the money will also be used to add passing lanes and wider shoulders on Highway 93 South through Kootenay National Park in B.C. and to improve Highway 93 North, also known as the Icefields Parkway, between Banff and Jasper in Alberta.

Parks Canada said the money is part of $557 million in recently announced funding over three years to ensure continuation of infrastructure projects and maintenance work in the national parks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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