Alberta releases budget, commits nearly $1 billion for roads

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EDMONTON, Alta. — The Province of Alberta released its budget yesterday, which includes the promise of $889 million in transportation spending.

The newly-formed Centennial Capital Plan (CCP) was announced, which will direct $5.5 billion towards important infrastructure projects nearly double last year’s capital spending.

“The province’s population is growing by more than 50,000 people a year – that’s a community the size of Fort McMurray – and they are not bringing their schools, roads and hospitals with them. This is putting enormous pressure on our infrastructure,” says Infrastructure Minister Ty Lund. “This major capital investment will help address our infrastructure needs and make Alberta even better for future generations.”

Over the next three years, $1.5 billion of that CCP fund will go towards the provincial highway network while $893 million will be spent on municipal transportation grants.

“A safe and efficient transportation network is critical to the well-being of Albertans and the economy of the province,” Transportation Minister Ed Stelmach says.

The budget also hints that alternative funding options, such as public-private partnerships, will be explored as a way of funding further transportation infrastructure needs.

“Our plan calls for us to explore alternative funding options to help address infrastructure needs,” said Lund. “There will be an array of options evaluated, and an expert advisory committee is being put together to offer the government advice on whether particular projects are suited for alternative financing, and what kind of option would be appropriate. However, the bottom line remains the same: the government will not run budgetary deficits.”

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