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Highway 63 twinning update - countdown to 2016

Drivers will see ramped up construction activities on Highway 63 this summer, as 250 pieces of equipment and more than 400 workers take to the road to complete tree clearing, grading, bridge construction, paving and utility moves.

“Our work to twin 63 is part of our commitment to highway safety and making investments that benefit Albertans, grow our economy and enhance market access,” said Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation. “With our many partners pulling together along this corridor, we will meet the accelerated fall 2016 twinning schedule.”

2013 will see almost 60 kilometres of grading completed on Highway 63 at a cost of $93 million. A major tree-clearing project billed at $3 million will also finish this spring, opening up 55 kilometres of right-of-way for new construction. Work also continues on eight passing lanes opening this summer to provide more safe passing opportunities on Highway 63.

Drivers will see the impressive new Lac La Biche River bridge built by the summer of 2014. New tenders will be issued in the coming months in preparation for another 60 kilometres of twinning grading, paving and bridge construction to be completed by 2015.

More than $1 billion has already been invested in northeastern Alberta for Highways 63 and 881 and to improve infrastructure in the Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo region.

“Premier Redford commited to Highway 63 as a transportation priority for the province, and the amount of construction activity already underway and what we’ll see this summer makes that commitment very clear,” said Mike Allen, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo.

“We are determined to build Alberta, and the accelerated twinning schedule for Highway 63 is a wonderful example,” said Don Scott, MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin. “This highway is a vital connector for our community, and our government’s action on twinning will provide a safe and efficient roadway for both residents and business.”

“I am pleased that the province remains committed to Highway 63,” said Melissa Blake, Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “This highway is a critical link for residents, businesses and industry in this region. I also look forward to the province's continued support for transportation infrastructure upgrades that are essential to improve travel and public safety in Wood Buffalo."

Meanwhile construction continues on Confederation Way and Thickwood Boulevard interchanges in Fort McMurray, which will be operational with permanent ramps in place by the end of 2013. Steinhauer and Grant MacEwan bridges over the Athabasca River are on target for 2014 completion. Work also continues to provide access for the Parsons Creek Development with a 2015 completion date.

As with all construction zones in the province, drivers on Highway 63 are reminded to obey all signs, flag people and posted speed limits in construction zones. Speed fines are doubled when workers are present. Please leave extra time for your travels and drive with care.

The accelerated twinning of Highway 63 and construction on other transportation infrastructure in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is part of the government’s commitment to building Alberta’s economic future through a transportation network that helps move goods across Alberta to local, national or international destinations.

Up-to-date road information, including construction information, is a click or a phone call away (5-1-1 toll-free). Visit 511.alberta.ca or follow us on Twitter @511Alberta to get on the road to safer travel.

Media inquiries may be directed to:
Jeanna Friedley
Communications
Alberta Transportation
780-422-7070
587-990-5471 (cell)
jeanna.friedley@gov.ab.ca

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.