EDMONTON, Alta. Another 50 kilometres of four-lane road on Highway 43 will open to traffic by the end of this year’s construction season, beginning with a 14-kilometre stretch that will open this month, government officials announced today.
Highway 43 forms the northwest leg of Alberta’s North-South trade corridor and runs 432 kilometres from its junction with Highway 16, west of Edmonton, to Grande Prairie. The Alberta government will invest approximately $52 million in the highway in 2005, bringing the total investment in Highway 43 to $450 million over the past six years. The federal government will also be investing $29 million in the highway under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program.
“The twinning of Highway 43 will improve the safety and efficiency of this important North American trade corridor,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Anne McLellan on behalf of Jean-C. Lapierre, federal Minister of Transport.
“It demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to working with its provincial partners to strengthen highway infrastructure across the country.”
A 14-kilometre segment of newly twinned highway, between Cherhill and Glenevis, will open to traffic by the end of June, followed by another 36 kilometres by the end of the 2005 construction season. That willl leave only 56 kilometres of two-lane road remaining along the highway. The province will undertake twinning the remaining 56 kilometres this year, with completion scheduled for fall 2007.
“Continuing to twin Highway 43 is a major step toward completing the North-South trade corridor,” said Dr. Lyle Oberg, Minister of Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation. “This vital highway link fosters the north-south movement of goods and supports Alberta’s growing trade with the United States and Mexico.”
The North-South trade corridor will be a continuous 1,175-kilometre, four-lane highway link from the Alberta-Montana border at Coutts, to the British Columbia-Alberta border, west of Grande Prairie. The corridor will form part of the greater CANAMEX corridor, which is a highway link from Alaska to Mexico City.
“The continued twinning of Highway 43 is very important to my constituents,” said George VanderBurg, MLA for Whitecourt-Ste. Anne. “Twinning will make the highway more efficient and safer for all motorists.”
Since there will be numerous construction activities on Highway 43 this summer, motorists are reminded to drive cautiously in construction zones and obey all signs and flag people. Recent amendments to the Traffic Safety Act double the fines for speeding in construction zones.
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