Highway 63 twinning takes big step forward
Motorists will soon see twinning construction in full swing on another 32 km of Highway 63 between House River and south of Mariana Lake.
“We remain on track to meet the accelerated fall 2016 twinning schedule. This project is one of many major investments we are making to build Alberta, grow our economy, enhance market access and benefit all Albertans.”
This 32 kilometre project, awarded through competitive tender to Carmacks Group Ltd. with a bid price of approximately $147 million, is scheduled to be complete by 2015. In addition to grading and paving to create two new highway lanes, three new bridges will be constructed to safely carry motorists over Bear Creek, Crow Creek and House River.
Since 2005, more than $350 million has been invested to twin Highway 63 between Grasslands and Fort McMurray. Albertans will see another three years of heavy construction activity along Highway 63 as twinning continues on an accelerated schedule for completion in fall 2016, an investment of approximately $1 billion.
Crews began to mobilize onsite in mid-August and the work will be in full swing by the beginning of September. Crews will soon begin grading work around the clock, beginning near House River and making their way north.
“This region depends on safe and efficient transportation of both residents and business. Our government is doing what it takes to support our growing economy and population, both for Fort McMurray and the entire province.”
Twinning this section of Highway 63 is one of the most environmentally complex projects along the entire highway route. It overlaps two Caribou Management zones and there are restrictions for construction activities during the bird nesting period and in stream activity.
To permit and protect wildlife passage, there will be 10 metre gaps left every 200 metres in topsoil stockpiles along the construction site. In addition, to help promote the Government of Alberta’s recovery goal of Arctic Grayling and other fish species, spawning pools will be constructed near the House River bridge site and turbidity monitoring will be conducted on a regular basis.
Highway 63 is unique in Alberta when it comes to construction challenges, including continuous muskeg and boreal forest, pipeline crossings, and the size of industrial vehicles needed for the oil sands, 30 per cent of which are heavy loads. The new twinning has been specially designed to safely serve oversized traffic in addition to regular vehicle traffic.
Access to markets
The accelerated twinning of Highway 63 is part of the government’s commitment to building Alberta’s economic future through a transportation network that helps move goods across Alberta to local, national or international destinations. Twinning between Highway 55 and Fort McMurray is one of many Highway 63 projects currently under construction to support market access and economic opportunities in the core transportation network, promote safe travel for industry and Albertans, and improve the flow of goods and services.
Safety in construction zones
As with all construction zones in the province, drivers on Highway 63 are reminded to obey all signs, flag people and posted speed limits in construction zones. Speed fines are doubled when workers are present. Please leave extra time for your travels and drive with care.
Our government was elected to keep building Alberta, to live within its means and to fight to open new markets for Alberta’s resources. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.