Construction of the Coquihalla

Never before in the history of North American road building has a project pressed so hard at the limits of human organization. That’s a heavy sentence right there but one taken directly from the 1986 documentary of the construction of the Coquihalla, a roadway perhaps better known to many as The Highway Thru Hell.

Like many others who visit this page I’m a fan of the TV series that follows the adventures of the towing and highway crews who fight to keep traffic moving along this vital British Columbia stretch of infrastructure. While their struggle is real the construction of this highway was no easy task. It became a Herculean undertaking when a project deadline of just twenty months for the first phases of construction descended from on high. Thirty eight bridges, eighteen interchanges, over a million tons of asphalt, the numbers come at you fast and furious over the soulful 80’s saxophone and synth music. As expected, this film is loaded with classic trucks and heavy equipment. Thankfully the producers wisely kept these originally sounds and blended them expertly throughout the narration. So take a break from your day and learn more about the Coq and how it came to be. Rated D for interment scenes of Detroit Diesel powered equipment.

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