DEVON, ALTA. — Construction crews have broken ground on the second phase of a project to twin Highway 19 west in Alberta.
Officials stated the twinning will reduce the chances of a head-on collision for the nearly 10,000 commuter and commercial vehicles that use Highway 19 daily. The western phase of the project will cost $79 million.
The project will twin 3.5 kilometres of the highway which serves rail infrastructure and the Edmonton International Airport.
The federal government is providing $27.7 million for the project’s second phase.
The first phase wrapped up in September 2019. Phase 2 will twin the 3.5-kilometre section east of Highway 60 to Range Road 261 and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2022. Phase 3 is in the detailed design phase. It entails twinning the remaining section of Highway 19, between Range Road 261 and Range Road 253.
Alberta officials noted there have been 223 crashes on the highway in the last five years. The crashes killed two and injured 81.
“We have been advocating for the twinning of Highway 19 for years here in Devon and are thrilled to finally be able to share that the west phase of the project will begin construction in 2021,” said Devon Mayor Ralph Ray in a statement. “The safety of our residents is and will always be our top concern and this project is a great next step towards protecting the lives of those who use Highway 19 to commute on a regular basis.”