Coquihalla Highway turns 28

Hope Visitor Centre celebrates milestone this Saturday

Riley Forman showcases some Coquihalla Highway memorabilia that will be on display Saturday at the visitor centre. This weekend also marks the opening of the Hope Museum for the 2014 season.

The Coquihalla Highway celebrates an important milestone this weekend.

Twenty-eight years ago, the highway was opened to provide drivers with a faster route into the Interior from Hope.

In 1984, construction of the first phase of the Coquihalla Highway began and was completed in 20 months, in time for Expo 86. A project of this scale had never been done before in such a short time in North America. During the construction of the first phase of the Coquihalla Highway, which linked Hope to Merritt, over five million cubic metres of rock was blasted. This section was the longest stretch at 137 kilometres. To finish on time, over 10,000 people were needed to fill all of the jobs. The second phase, from Merritt to Kamloops, opened in September 1987 and the third phase, running from Merritt to Peachland, was completed in 1990. The total cost of all three phases of the Coquihalla was $955 million.

“It’s an important piece of infrastructure,” said RiIey Forman, who is in charge of tourism services for AdvantageHOPE. “It changed British Columbia in how we look at transportation and trade. Hope was the gateway to that massive change. We have five junctions here and five major spokes leading from Hope. In 1986 another spoke was added and I believe that it’s definitely a part of our experience.”

To celebrate this milestone weekend, staff at the Hope Visitor Centre will be wearing original hardhats and old souvenir buttons that were given out the day the highway opened. Jamie Davis and the Highway Thru Hell crew will also be on location at the Hope Visitor Centre on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. signing autographs, taking pictures with fans, and participating in a fundraiser for Hope Search and Rescue.

In addition, Saturday marks the opening day of the Hope Museum for the 2014 season.

Staff have spent hundreds of hours cleaning up the space and digitalizing the library of museum contents.

“We hope to rotate more and more historical stories as they become more relevant in time here in Hope,” said Forman.

“As we work through the summer months and working into the 2015 season, we’ll be completely re-shifting the way we accept donations to the museum, display the historical artifacts of the community and most importantly the way we inspire and tell the story of our history in a way that encourages people to hit the streets. Once they’ve come through the museum and they’ve learned something about some of these historical moments, we really want them to go out and experience them.”

Just Posted

Highest earning staff at Fraser-Cascade School District made public

Also board looks into seat belts on school buses, Marv Cope gets road in his memory

Oscar-winning producer J. Miles Dale on filming horror-thriller in Hope

In an exclusive interview, Dale explains why the town plays a large role in Antlers

Tarl rocks Silver Chalice Saturday

After spending summers in Hope visiting his grandmother, musician Tarl returns to… Continue reading

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read