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P3 the answer to Edmonton ring road dilemma

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Edmonton is turning to the private sector to pay for and build a ring road, which will be leased...


EDMONTON, Alta. — Edmonton is turning to the private sector to pay for and build a ring road, which will be leased back to the province over 30 years.

Transportation Minister, Ed Stelmach, says the province will save up to $30 million by allowing the private sector to foot the initial bill, and the city’s Mayor, Bill Smith, called the project "the road map of the future."

It’s the first project of its kind in Alberta and construction will begin next fall.

“If this project works well, it will be used to complete the ring roads in both Edmonton and Calgary,” Stelmach told local media. “There has to be a net savings to the Alberta taxpayer. If we’re not saving money, we won’t go ahead with this.”

If the province and city were to pay for the highway themselves, it would cost roughly $300 million. Stelmach hopes to realize a 10 per cent savings by leasing the highway back from a private company.

There will be no tolls, but the government will pay an annual fee to the road-builders for maintenance. The ring road is expected to be completed by 2007.


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