Watch: A look back at construction of the Coquihalla Highway 35 years later
In the 1960s and 1970s, British Columbia politicians heard plenty from residents of the province's southern interior regions about a lack of transportation between there and Vancouver. There were only two highways leading out of the growing Okanagan area: the Trans-Canada, winding through the Fraser Canyon, and Highway 3, which also wound its way through the mountains. Both were overtaxed. A new route was obviously necessary.
The route chosen was through the rugged mountains between Merritt and Hope, then on to Kamloops and Kelowna, and would become known as the Coquihalla Highway. The province started an accelerated construction program in 1984, wanting at least the first phase to open in time for Expo 86. This film from 1985 chronicles the twenty months of work that pushed a highway through some of the most unforgiving terrain in B.C.