New four-lane highway section opens near Wandering River, weather permitting
WANDERING RIVER, AB, Oct. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The upcoming opening of 36 kilometres of new four-lane divided highway on Highway 63 north of Wandering River gives motorists more free-flow travel and safe passing opportunities.
Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver and the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform) and Member of Parliament for Edmonton--Sherwood Park were joined by numerous stakeholders on a preview tour of the new section of blacktop, strategically located at the half-way point between Edmonton and Fort McMurray.
"Our government is proud to have invested in this important job-creating initiative to upgrade Highway 63," said Minister Uppal. "This project will contribute to the sustained growth and long-term economic development of the Wood Buffalo region, and that is essential to the economic future of Alberta and Canada as a whole. These improvements will also enhance safety, reduce congestion and cut travel times on this heavily-used corridor."
"In keeping with Premier Redford's commitment to this region and safety on this highway, we worked hard to get this section of twinning completed ahead of schedule so all travellers could use it this winter," said Minister McIver. "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. 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."
The northbound lanes contain the new pavement with new right-hand shoulder lanes which are built wider than standard. This accommodates oversize loads while allowing other traffic to pass on the left. Construction began in 2009 with tree clearing and grading, with paving completed during the spring and summer. All work was scheduled around caribou calving seasons.
This $84-million project to twin 36 kilometres was completed approximately nine months ahead of schedule. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $150 million through the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund toward the estimated 100-kilometre stretch of twinning from the junction of Highway 55 to south of House River. The Government of Alberta is providing the $171-million balance.
Visit www.transportation.alberta.ca/4942.htm for more information on Highway 63.
SOURCE: Government of Canada
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Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
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Transport Canada, Ottawa