EDMONTON -- The "major infrastructure announcement" promised by an Edmonton MLA to make south-Edmonton life better is a $120-million expansion of Terwillegar Drive. 

The Alberta government confirmed Wednesday morning work on the long-awaited roadway project will be moved forward.

The plan is to double Terwillegar Drive's lanes lanes from two in each direction to four between Rabbit Hill Road to Windermere Boulevard, build a second overpass over Anthony Henday Drive, and create a multi-use trail east of Terwillegar and a pedestrian bridge connecting Brookview to Brookside. 

The project will cost up to $120 million and be finished by 2025. 

The major roadway, in Madu's electoral district, has been in need of upgrades for years. He called it deserving of the government's attention after being discussed for 30 years.

Terwillegar's first phase of work is being funded by $102 million from the City of Edmonton. 

Ward 9 Coun. Tim Cartmell called the expansion "one of the last pieces of the puzzle" which will allow administration to gradually provide mass transit to that corner of the city. 

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said the announcement was obviously good news, but that he hopes other local priorities, outlined by the city for the provincial government in April, are respected. 

“If there's more coming to Edmonton, I would hope that the province references the local priorities that we provided to them on April 10.”

Utility relocates and site preparation for the Terwillegar work could begin this summer, a city representative said. 

More than 40,000 vehicles are counted on the roadway every day. 


Terwillegar is one of several building projects the United Conservative government has revealed recently.

Also on Wednesday, Alberta revealed it would be spending $16 million between upgrades for two buildings at the University of Alberta: the mechanical and electrical systems in the Brain and Aging Research Building, and the heating-cooling piping system in the Tory Building. The work is expected to create 90 full-time jobs, according to the government. 

Premier Jason Kenney said the province's economic recovery plan consisted, in large part, of infrastructure jobs that would create 50,000 jobs for Albertans impacted by the pandemic and low oil prices. 

That Alberta was able to keep about 85 per cent of its businesses operating during the pandemic means it is in a better position for recovery, but still faces an estimated 25 per cent unemployment rate. 

"No one believes (recovery's) going to happen overnight," Kenney commented. "In the meantime, our top priority must be getting Albertans back to work."

Since then, the government has put into motion the twinning of a 46-kilometre stretch of Highway 3 between Taber and Burdett in southern Alberta, announced the widening of Highway 40 in Yellowhead County, and put shovels in the ground for the segment of Keystone XL that will pass through the province.