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BC Highway Reinstatement Program – Highway 5

Owner: British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure  |  Hope to Merritt, BC


About the Project

In November 2021, torrential rainfall led to extreme impacts on highways and highway structures as the result of an atmospheric river pummeling down on southern BC. In response to catastrophic flooding, Kiewit and Emil Anderson Construction (Emil Anderson) provided significant emergency response efforts to rebuild the damaged infrastructure which had closed Highway 5 between Hope and Merritt, BC.

Following the emergency response work, BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure (MoTI) launched the BC Highway Reinstatement Program to permanently repair the various affected highways. In a departure from tradition, MoTI chose an Alliance contract model, which is a collaborative contracting approach in which the Owner, Contractor and Designer form an integrated team and share project risks and rewards.

The Highway 5 (3 Bridges) project was executed by the Coquihalla Alliance Team comprised of owner MoTI, and the KEA5 Partnership comprising Kiewit and Emil Anderson as the Constructor and Kiewit as the Designer. The Alliance team was supported by BASIS Engineering as design subconsultant and by several construction subcontractors that were aligned to the organization and integrated into the Alliance Team.
MoTI had ambitious schedule targets for reinstating four lanes of traffic before the 2022 winter holidays – just seven months after contract award – and to complete all highway reconstruction by December 2023. Many fundamental elements established prior to award, including reference design concept, project requirements, or stakeholder consultation were not in place. The Alliance collaboratively developed these elements while executing the work, ultimately achieving the December 2022 milestone and achieving full highway reconstruction two months ahead of schedule.

The scope of work included the design and construction of six new permanent bridge crossings (Juliet, Jessica and Bottletop Bridges), 2 temporary bridges and associated 4.5 km of highway reconstruction.


An Alliance contract model allowed Kiewit to create a design approach that addressed risks with immediate client input achieving completion two months ahead of schedule and an optimized design life:

  • Early Procurement: Engaging local vendors in collaborative taskforces allowed the identification of readily available materials and their incorporation into designs. Shop drawings proceeded in parallel with design avoiding long lead delivery times and identifying early procurement packages, such as pile installation. Early piling works began before the design was fully completed.
  • Developing Design while Executing Early Work: The Alliance model allowed the development phase and execution phase to overlap, with approximately 25% of site work completed before performing the execution phase agreement. Involving MoTI in design development empowered MoTI to contribute to critical decision-making before any drafting occurred, saving both time and cost by accelerating the schedule.
  • Sustainability for Future Weather Events: Replacement bridges longer than the original structures met MoTI’s Build Back Better initiative in support of resilient flood planning. Increasing the length of the permanent bridges accommodates a 200-year return period and provides improved climate change resilience. Design solutions were implemented, such as including corrosion-resistant stainless-steel reinforcement in the superstructures to improve service life and reduce operations and maintenance costs.


The Alliance, supported by Kiewit’s integrated design and construction team, fast-tracked the design process and progressively released bridge components for procurement and construction prior to completion of the entire design, allowing construction to start and finish earlier than is typical for similar bridges. Ultimately, the team achieved the December 2022 milestone, and full highway reconstruction of the three bridge sites two months ahead of schedule.

Service(s) Provided
Overall design management
Overall Engineer of Record
Lead construction firm
Lead design firm

Project Team (Consultants)
BASIS Engineering

Project Team (Contractors)
Kiewit Infrastructure BC ULC
Emil Anderson Construction Inc.


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