‘The Alberta government promised Friday the deadly Highway 63 between Grassland and Fort McMurray will be twinned by 2016.
The government made the commitment to twin the 256-km stretch of road faster when Transportation Minister Ric McIver ceremoniously opened a newly twinned 36-km stretch of highway north of Wandering River.
The highway will be open to traffic Monday.
“I am happy to say our crews have been out all summer working on the twinning as well as clearing, grading and preparing new passing lanes on other sections of the highway,” McIver said in a statement.
“All the while, we continue to do everything we can to make the road even safer through efforts such as new signage, awareness and increased enforcement.”
New infrastructure commitments include:
- $778 million for twinning the remaining sections of Highway 63 between Highway 55 and Fort McMurray.
- $158 million to construct passing/climbing lanes and safety rest areas on Highway 881 to improve safety and better accommodate oversize loads.
- $150 million to extend Highway 881 from Anzac to Highway 69 southeast of Fort McMurray to enhance safety.
- $10 million to begin a planning study for the long term corridor needs.
According to a release, the province will finish the highway seven years sooner by funding these projects through capital markets instead of pay-as-you-go funding methods.
The 36 km stretch of new highway north of Wandering River has bigger right hand shoulders on northbound lands to better accommodate oversize loads. The construction on the twinning began in 2009 and was scheduled around caribou calving season.