Notes from the MLA: Accelerating construction on area highways

Pat Rehn
MLA for Lesser Slave Lake.

In response to the COVID-19 economic impact, our government announced we are doubling the province’s capital maintenance and renewal (CMR) funding in 2020-21 from $937 million to $1.9 billion by accelerating projects in the capital plan, all to get thousands of Albertans back to work.

This means resurfacing roads, fixing bridges and culverts, and filling potholes, painting highway lines, and sealing cracks. Oil and gas workers heading north, families, businesses, job creators; everyone on the road will see smoother highways and fewer potholes.

Our government prioritized Capital Maintenance and Renewal projects because they’re shovel-ready – meaning we can get money out the door faster and put Albertans back to work tomorrow.

We were going to fix these roads and bridges anyway. Instead of waiting until 2021 or beyond, we are accelerating construction to begin now. A more immediate impact means we come out of the COVID-19 in a stronger position with better roads and thousands more Albertans with a job.

I’m pleased to share that we’re repaving 25 km of overlay on Highway 2 in and around Slave Lake, 14 km on either side of the Highway 88 intersection will be paved, and 11 kms west of Canyon Creek will also be paved. We anticipate the overlay projects will be completed during the 2020 construction season. Over 775 direct and indirect jobs will be created in the Fort McMurray and North Central region as a result of these projects.

Our goal is to improve the condition of the highways and ensure they last longer – getting better value for each taxpayer dollar – and, more importantly, put people back to work.

It is important to note that this funding is not intended for new capital projects such as highway twinning and widening, or new highway construction. New project announcements will be coming soon.

We are at a pivotal moment in our province’s history. Premier Kenney has been outspoken about the need for government to be bold to address the largest economic collapse since the Great Depression. Transportation infrastructure will play an important role in our province’s economic recovery, and I look forward to helping deliver projects that support the needs of our growing communities and job creators.

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