Province vows to accelerate twinning of Highway 63
Published Friday, October 19, 2012 11:18AM MDT Last Updated Friday, October 19, 2012 6:31PM MDT
After years of pressure from the public and dozens of deadly collisions the province is promising to accelerate the twinning of Highway 63.
Transportation Minister Ric McIver made the announcement Friday saying the road many call “Alberta’s deadliest highway” will be a completely dived four-lane roadway between Grassland and Fort McMurray by the fall of 2016.
Provincial officials had never set a firm date for the full completion but said completing the project by 2016 is about seven years sooner than it would have taken had they used a pay-as-you-go funding model.
The project will cost about $1.1 billion and includes enhancements to Highway 881 to take place over the next six years.
“Our highway network must support the safe and efficient movement of people and commodities to, from, and around Fort McMurray,” McIver said in a news release. “This is about investing in a region that makes a tremendous contribution to the province’s economy. This is about investing in Alberta’s future.”
It’s something many have long asked for.
In April a fiery crash left seven dead. Just days later over 1000 people attended a rally along the road calling for the province to fast track the process.
Since 2006, 33 kilometers of Highway 63 has been twinned. Another 36 kilometers near Wandering River was expected to be completed by the fall of 2013. That stretch will open October 22, a full year ahead of schedule.