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Service Area 11, East Kootenay – a profile

For highway maintenance purposes, the province is divided into 28 service areas. Service Area 11, East Kootenay, is bound by the Alberta and US borders and Highways 3, 93E and 95. It is a region of deep valleys and high peaks.

It includes two mountain ranges – the Purcell and the Rockies – that deliver some of the most challenging winter maintenance conditions in British Columbia.

It’s small, but still one of the most geographically diverse regions of the province, with numerous micro-climates: some areas experience cold and dry conditions, while not far away, snowfalls are frequent and heavy.

The weather can fluctuate over short distances and change suddenly depending on the local terrain. Fernie, for example, sees an average snowfall of 357 cm a season, while Radium sees less than one-third of that. Some areas experience freezing rain, while in other areas, heavy winds are common in winter.

The highway inventory includes:

  • Approximately 3,600 lane kilometers of maintained roads of which 570 lane kilometers are numbered highways
  • 11 rest areas
  • More than 100 bridge structures (seven of which are bridge-size culverts)
  • Four tunnels (one rock tunnel and three pedestrian underpasses), and
  • 40 retaining wall structures

Highway improvements

The ministry has invested $74 million in the last five years alone to improve highway safety and reliability.

This work includes:

  • 3 new passing lanes on Highway 3 near Hosmer, near Sparwood and near Elko.
  • Realignment of Highway 3 east of Sparwood.
  • Replacement of the Little Sands Bridge near Elko and Alexander Bridge near Sparwood.
  • Resurfacing of Highway 3 in four locations near Cranbook and near Sparwood.
  • Resurfacing of Highway 93 in two locations near Wasa.
  • Resurfacing of Highway 95 near Skookumchuk.
  • Resurfacing of Highway 43 in two locations, near Sparwood and near Elkford.

As part of B.C. on the Move, our 10-year transportation plan, the province is committed to further work to improve the safety, reliability and capacity of highways in the East Kootenay.

Learn More:

For more information, please visit and use the keywords highway maintenance.

Map of Service Area 11, please visit: