Western projects to boost Asia-Pacific Gateway corridor
OTTAWA, Ont. — The federal government announced three infrastructure projects in Western Canada, which aim to help bolster international trade through the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI).
A $75 million project has been slated for Edmonton, which will improve traffic flow, create jobs and improve the quality of life of local residents. Funding will be used in Edmonton for the construction of a new interchange on Highway 2 and 41 Avenue, including a road/rail grade separation of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) tracks east of Highway 2, and improvements on arterial roads in the area.
It will facilitate the relocation of the CPR intermodal freight terminal from a residential area in Edmonton to a new site at the southern limit of the city. It will also improve access to and from the new CPR intermodal facility, alleviate congestion and increase business opportunities for northern Alberta.
The Province of Alberta submitted the project for federal funding and Luke Ouellette, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation of Alberta, will oversee its completion.
“The new interchange will improve the movement of goods between rail and transport vehicles, providing an efficient link from Alberta to the Asia-Pacific markets,” said Ouellette. “The remaining funding for the project will be cost shared between the province and the City of Edmonton.”
Saskatoon received $20 million in federal funding for two projects to be undertaken by the city.
The two freeway interchange projects will be at Lorne Avenue and Circle Drive and at Idylwyld Freeway and Circle Drive. These projects will complement the proposed South River Crossing, which will provide a bypass link between the southeast and northwest parts of the city.
The projects will also improve access to the Canadian National Railway’s (CN) intermodal freight terminal located in Southwest Saskatoon, and facilitate Saskatchewan shippers’ participation in Asia-Pacific trade.
“Saskatchewan has been working closely with the City of Saskatoon over the past months and, as a funding partner with the city, we are pleased the federal government has chosen to invest in the South Circle Drive Corridor. The province, along with the other funding partners, recognizes the investment in this corridor will improve the efficiency of key national and international trade routes, reduce congestion and enhance safety,” said Eldon Lautermilch, Minister of Highways and Transportation of Saskatchewan.
Winnipeg was also awarded federal funding of $33.25 million towards upgrades to Inkster Boulevard between the Winnipeg Perimeter Highway and Oakpoint Highway. It will include twinning 6.6 km of Inkster Boulevard to a four-lane divided highway, building an interchange at Sturgeon Road, constructing a new overpass at the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) mainline and making interchange improvements at the Northwest Perimeter Highway.
These upgrades will improve access to trucking depots, the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and the CPR freight terminal, as well as reduce truck travel times, therefore increasing the efficiency of the Gateway.
“This project supports our efforts to further develop the province as a sustainable transportation and distribution gateway and increase our economic opportunities and growth,” said Ron Lemieux, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation. “Manitoba has had a significant role as a transportation hub and we look forward to taking advantage of emerging opportunities.”
The Prime Minister launched the APGCI in October 2006. The federal government has committed more than $1 billion to the national project and is working closely with the governments of the four Western provinces, municipal governments, regional transportation agencies and private sector leaders.
“Today’s investment will contribute significantly to Canada’s competitiveness in the rapidly changing world of global commerce, as well as benefit the communities by upgrading local infrastructure,” said David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and the Pacific Gateway. “We are committed to establishing the Gateway as the link between North America and Asia, and will continue to work with the provinces and stakeholders to make it happen.”
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