Overview

Economic corridors are transportation routes that provide vital links to markets in and out of Alberta, supporting economic, social and environmental vitality.

In addition to the National Highway System, Alberta’s economic corridors include:

  • 2 trade corridors that help move people and products across the province
  • a High Load Corridor Network that supports the movement of oversize and overweight loads

National Highway System

The National Highway System was defined and endorsed by the Council of Ministers in 1988. The system includes more than 38,050 km of core, feeder and northern/remote routes across Canada (4,480 km of these in Alberta) that support inter-provincial and international trade and travel by connecting, as directly as possible, a capital city or major provincial population or commercial centre in Canada with:

  • another major provincial population or commercial centre
  • another major population or commercial centre in an adjacent province or territory
  • a major port of exit or entry with the United States (US)
  • another type of transportation that is directly served by a highway, such as railway and airport terminals

Learn more about Transport Canada’s National Highway System.

Find national highways in Alberta (PDF, 687 KB).

CANAMEX/North-South Trade Corridor

The CANAMEX/North-South Trade Corridor is the north-south portion of the National Highway System in Alberta. The corridor links the Coutts, Alberta and Sweetgrass, Montana port of entry to the Alberta and British Columbia border on Highway 43.

The corridor includes:

  • approximately 1,150 km of Alberta’s provincial highway network
  • parts of Highways 4, 3, 2, 201, 216, 16 and 43

Goals of the CANAMEX/North-South Trade Corridor are to:

  • improve access for the north-south flow of goods and people
  • increase transport productivity and reduce transport costs
  • support efficient connections between intermodal transport sites
  • reduce administration and enforcement costs through harmonized regulations

The value of Alberta’s international merchandise trade using the corridor has experienced significant growth. At the port of entry, for example:

  • Alberta exported goods valued at $4.46 billion to the US and Mexico ($4.3 billion to the US and $160 million to Mexico) by road through the port of entry in 2017
  • an estimated 98,000 trucks and 145,000 passenger vehicles crossed in 2018

Major transportation projects related to the CANAMEX/North-South Trade Corridor include:

Alberta has invested more than $2 billion in this important north-south trade link, including:

  • enhanced services at the Coutts, Alberta and Sweetgrass, Montana port of entry, including the Single Joint Use Vehicle Inspection Station operated by Alberta and Montana to improve operations and efficiency
  • completion of major transportation projects, such as:
    • the Milk River bypass along Highway 4
    • the Edmonton Ring Road (Anthony Henday Drive)
    • the northwest, northeast and southeast segments of the Calgary Ring Road (Stoney Trail)
    • Highway 43 twinning to east of Wembley

To help ensure Alberta’s competitiveness in the international marketplace and enhance tourism, continued investment in this high-efficiency, multi-lane corridor to access US and emerging Mexican markets is essential.

Northeast Alberta Trade Corridor

A safe and efficient corridor to northeast Alberta is vital to the future prosperity of Alberta. The Government of Alberta has made significant investments in the highways leading to Fort McMurray and beyond, including major capacity upgrades through Fort McMurray.

The Northeast Alberta Trade Corridor includes:

  • approximately 500 km of Alberta’s provincial highway network
  • Highways 15, 28A, 28 and 63

Major transportation projects related to the Northeast Alberta Trade Corridor can be viewed using the interactive provincial transportation projects map.

The map provides information only on large transportation projects that are either in the functional planning or design phase (what we are planning) or in the construction phase (what we are building).

East/west connections

East and west connections are important for allowing products to reach North American and global markets. Going west, these connections take our products to tidewater with access to global markets, particularly Asia. Going east, the corridors connect our products and resources with eastern North American markets (major centres in Canada and the US) and to tidewater through the Port of Montreal.

East/west connections include:

  • approximately 1,430 km of Alberta’s provincial highway network
  • Highways 1, 3, 16 and the Edmonton and Calgary ring roads

Use the interactive provincial transportation projects map to find major transportation projects related to east and west connections.

High Load Corridor

The High Load Corridor, also called the Oversize and Overweight Corridor, is a network of designated highways where overhead utilities are raised or buried to accommodate high loads, and in many cases, heavy, wide and long loads. About 150,000 oversized and overweight permits are issued annually in Alberta.

Corridor development began in 1985. It now includes approximately 5,000 km of Alberta’s provincial highway network. The corridor plays an essential role in allowing Alberta companies to safely and cost-effectively manufacture products in large centres and transport them to their destinations.

The High Load Corridor’s goals are to:

  • facilitate the safe and uninterrupted movement of oversize loads
  • avoid power outages that result from temporarily raising power lines
  • support industry development

Read about the High Load Corridor.

News

Contact

For more information about corridor development:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-984-2916
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: michal.pylko@gov.ab.ca

Address:
Network and Highway Planning
Alberta Transportation
2nd Floor, Twin Atria Building
4999 98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T6B 2X3