EDMONTON — As part its 2018 budget, Alberta is investing $90 million in infrastructure upgrades to transform a key transportation corridor, the Highway 38 bridge across the North Saskatchewan River, commonly known as the Vinca bridge.
Built in 1967, the bridge is a vital transportation corridor for Alberta’s industrial heartland and the northern Alberta oilsands region, with approximately 2,000 vehicle crossings a day, explains the government.
The project will see the structure upgraded or replaced to carry heavy and oversize loads and will establish a critical link in Alberta’s High Load Corridor, saving heavily loaded trucks about 200 kilometres of travel. The new route will also save an average of $10,000 per trip.
In 2016, more than 400 loads travelled through the existing High Load Corridor, which is about 200 kilometres to the east.
Although it has yet to be determined if the structure will be expanded or replaced, the new Vinca route will extend from Edmonton to Tofield, Chipman, Lamont and north to the city of Redwater.
While a construction cost has yet to be announced, planning and design for the project will commence this year. Construction could get underway by 2020 creating approximately 265 construction jobs and 190 indirect jobs in associated industries, states the release.