EDMONTON, ALTA. – The Alberta government, Municipal District of Greenview and County of Grande Prairie have entered a cost-sharing agreement to twin 19 kilometers of Highway 40, from Grande Prairie to just south of the Norbord Wood Panel Plant.
A second bridge will be built across the Wapiti River, and improvements are planned for bridge structures and intersections, as well as upgrades for existing lights to LEDs and a median vehicle inspection station for safety oversight of the commercial trucking industry.
“Our focus in Transportation is on maintaining our existing highways instead of building new ones, but projects like twinning Highway 40 are important for economic development and job creation. We need to think creatively about how to fund projects like this if we want them to move forward quickly, and that’s exactly what we did. The MD of Greenview and County of Grande Prairie’s agreement to cost-share means that Highway 40 moves off the unfunded project list and into the capital plan, accelerating construction to start this year,” Alberta minister of transportation Ric McIver said.
“The County of Grande Prairie is pleased to partner with the Municipal District of Greenview and the Alberta government to fund much-needed upgrades to Highway 40,” County of Grande Prairie reeve Leanne Beaupre said.
“This investment recognizes the urgency of expediting work on this key transportation link to improve safety for workers in the region’s resource sectors as well as tourists travelling to and from the mountain parks and beyond. Enhancements to Highway 40 are vital to stimulating economic development, including the recently announced Tri-Municipal Industrial Partnership Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Alberta. By working together, we can inject dollars into infrastructure upgrades when they’re most needed,” Beaupre added.
The cost-sharing agreement means activities such as relocation of utilities and land clearing can begin as early as summer 2020, an Alberta government release stated.
The Alberta government does not release cost estimates on projects until a contract is awarded, the release added, but projects similar to the highway twinning “typically cost between $100 and $120 million.”