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The Golden Notch: A Tribute to the Builders Golden Notch

Golden NotchI don’t know if you’ve been through the TransCanada between Lake Louise and Golden lately, but those infrastructure folks have been busy!
A remarkable piece of highway is taking shape over a stretch that has been known as a dreaded killer for many years. Once you pass Field and head down into Golden, the slow and winding two lanes of #1 have caused lots of heartburn and more than a few tumbles into the chasm of the Kicking Horse River. I once went into the truck weigh station at the bottom. The walls were covered with pictures of grisly crunches truckers endured on that hill.
And guess what? Despite all the grumbling about governments – planners and then the contractors swung into action and have finished the most elegant piece of engineering seen recently in these parts. It’s positively Swiss!
Instead of grinding away behind some endless crawling line led by a terrified old guy trying to manhandle an oversized RV, we now roll down clean 4 lanes, to the most daring slash through a rock knoll and onto a sweeping high bridge on four slender columns that vaults us over the river. And all the hairy stuff on down is paved over and smoothed out so that before we know it, we are back into the few last old style kilometers before descending on another redesigned chunk into Golden. It’s a rush for anyone who battled that piece in the past.
Another remarkable transformation is underway at Port Mann just you enter Greater Vancouver. Those Lower Mainland guys have a tough time building a road – witness the endlessly revised TCH through Burnaby, but they sure can build bridges.
The new Port Mann looks like someone actually imagined Vancouver as a major league city. They’re putting together a massive slab over the Fraser that looks like it will be good for 50 years. And it is dramatically designed. Finally someone got over being cheap and decided to construct something farsighted that would be an enduring credit to the community.
A bottleneck becomes a grand entry! So it should be!
Leaders are people who point the way. They concern themselves with matters requiring foresight. To reach the elegant and correct solution is one thing. To have the courage and drive to insist it be done – and done right – is another.
Somewhere in the BC Transportation Ministry, they’ve got this combo in spades.
My hat is off to them! They really are doing what most of us say we want to do – make a difference….

Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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