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This video from 1985 shows how B.C.'s Coquihalla Highway was built (VIDEO)

If cheesy '80s music is your thing, this government documentary is for you.
coquihalla
Blasting was a major part of the construction of BC's Coquihalla Highway.

When the Coquihalla Highway was built it was a big deal, literally.

It was the largest highway development in North America ever attempted at the time, so of course the B.C. government had to make a film showing off the project.

Finished in 1985 (the film that is), it shows the construction of the section of the Coquihalla running between Hope and Merritt, the longer and more difficult of the two sections. The entire highway was finished in 20 months, in time for Expo 86 in Vancouver. The video is very much from the '80s, with cheesy music, narration, and slightly blurry visuals for those used to high definition TV.

 

To meet its completion goal, 3,000 people were working on the highway at the same time, with 1,000 pieces of heavy equipment working over the summer of 1985. They were clearing 2,000 hectares of land and had to blast five million cubic meters of rock and move 22 million cubic meters of earth.

They also had to contend with all sorts of weather, including more than a dozen spots where avalanches were a concern.

Sections of the highway recently washed out due to the November 2021 floods, severing the largest highway connection Vancouver has to the rest of Canada.