New road to growth coming for Parsons Creek
Work begins on Parsons Creek interchange, paving the way for more families to call Fort McMurray home.
“This $150 million contract is yet another major investment that supports the residents and industry of Fort McMurray and the oil sands area. As Alberta’s largest transportation construction project ever issued through conventional delivery, the Parsons Creek interchange reflects our continued commitment to building Alberta.”
Construction of the Phase I interchange will be completed by Sureway Construction and is scheduled to be open for traffic in the fall of 2015. Work is expected to begin this week, after a planning meeting this morning with Alberta Transportation and the consultant, ISL Engineering.
Phase I of the Parsons Creek interchange will accommodate four lanes of Highway 63 traffic, free-flow access to East Parsons Creek and movement of high loads around the interchange. In addition to this new $150 million interchange construction contract, the Government of Alberta has already invested $150 million for earthworks, utilities relocation, engineering design and other development work in the Parsons Creek area.
“This much-anticipated $300 million interchange opens up access to some potential 12,000 subdivision residents. When Phase I is complete in 2016, it will help make the commute easier and safer for many people who make Fort McMurray their home.”
The priority is to give both residents and businesses in Fort McMurray access to Parsons Creek within the next two years. The Phase I design is flexible, allowing for future expansion as the community continues to grow. Future interchange development will build additional lanes, directional ramps and an extension into West Parsons Creek.
Parsons Creek Phase I construction
Starting October 23:
- Work will take place on a 24-hour basis.
- Based on traffic patterns and feedback gained from last winter, truck crossings and lane restrictions will not occur on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Because of the need to build four brand-new lanes of Highway 63 linking to a safe and graded slope, the project requires extensive earthmoving.
- Equipment trucks will be crossing Highway 63 to transport material to build the new roadway.
- Crossings will be controlled by closely monitored traffic lights.
- Next fall, traffic will shift to the new lanes with less disruption from truck hauling.
Investing in market access
Parsons Creek access 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.
By March 2014, Alberta Transportation will have invested more than $1.4 billion towards various Highway 63 and 881 projects since 2005, providing critical infrastructure for the Athabasca oil sands region. In addition, more than $530 million in municipal grant funding has been allocated in the last eight years to support numerous local priorities.
Within the urban area of Fort McMurray, key projects already underway include construction of the new Athabasca River Bridge, rebuilding of the Steinhauer Bridge and development of Franklin Avenue Tunnel, rebuilding of the Grant McEwan Bridge, construction of Thickwood Boulevard and Confederation Way interchanges and the six-laning of Highway 63 from downtown to north of Confederation Way.
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.
Photo: Aerial view of Stage 1
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