FORT McMURRAY, Alta. — Construction has begun on twinning the first section of Hwy. 63 south of Fort McMurray, Alta. from Hwy 69 to south of Hwy. 881.
This is the first section of the 240-kilometre twinning project to begin between Fort McMurray and the junction of Hwy. 55 near Grassland. This project is one of several underway this year to improve safety and expand the capacity of the provincial highway network in the Wood Buffalo region.
“This is the first leg of an immense 240-kilometre twinning project that will increase safety for motorists and improve access to the oilsands,” said Luke Ouellette, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation. “This section of road has traffic volumes almost double the rest of the highway and is our top priority for twinning.”
Twinning of the first section of highway will cost $53 million and is scheduled to be completed and open to traffic by fall 2008.
“Residents of Fort McMurray have waited for this day with great anticipation,” said Guy Boutilier, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. “As a long-time supporter of twinning Highway 63, I’m pleased construction is underway. The twinned highway will improve safety for motorists and support the industrial development in the oilsands.”
Construction will begin on the remaining 224 kilometres of twinning south of Hwy. 881 as designs are completed and federal environmental permits are obtained. The total cost of twinning the 240-kilometres of highway is estimated to be more than $940 million.
The province will contribute more than $790 million toward the twinning project and up to $150 million will come from the federal government under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund.
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