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FORT MCMURRAY, Alta — Roads in the area of Fort McMurray, Alta. will be getting a facelift, but which projects come first is up for debate.

The first priority for the city is the paving and twinning of Highway 63 to the oilsands plants and the paving of Highway 881 to Lac La Biche.

Although some people are calling for all-weather roads north to Fort Chipewyan and east to La Loche, Sask., a new idea has emerged which is gaining support. That proposal is a $100 million industrial by-pass that would connect the planned Petro-Canada project southeast of the city with the oilsands plants north of the city.

“We’re going to have 5,000 (semi-truck) loads coming through during a period of heavy construction at the King Street overpass. We need some kind of alternate route, even if it’s gravel,” Fort McMurray resident Wayne Taylor said at a town meeting. “I think we’re going to have some major, major disasters on that highway (if we don’t).”

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