By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 21, 2023.
The provincial government has awarded the first contract for the Highway 3 twinning project is expected to improve safety, spur economic development and create jobs.
The first phase of the twinning will be a 46 kilometre stretch of highway between Taber and Burdett.
There will eventually be eight phases in total including:
â€¢ 10 kilometres – Highway 3X/Coleman Bypass.
â€¢ 15 kilometres – east of Seven Persons to Medicine Hat.
â€¢ 47 kilometres – Blairmore to east of Highway 6 at Pincher Creek.
â€¢ 28 kilometres – east of Bow Island to east of Seven Persons.
â€¢ 23 kilometres – east of Burdett to east of Bow Island.
â€¢ 38 kilometres – Pincher Creek to west of Fort Macleod.
â€¢ eight kilometres – Alberta/B.C. border to Highway 3X.
These other sections are in various phases of development.
The first phase will involve $179.7 million in provincial funding with the contract for the work being awarded to Ledcore Highways Ltd.
In a media statement Monday, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors Devin Dreeshen said “”Highway 3 is a key economic corridor in southern Alberta between Saskatchewan and British Columbia, south of the Trans-Canada Highway. It is critical infrastructure for Alberta’s growing agri-business industry and will enhance tourism and improve safety in the region as well.”
Pre-construction work which includes relocating utilities and acquiring right-of-ways will be finished this year with construction to start next spring. Work is anticipated to be finished in 2025 with about 755 jobs being created during the project.
“This is great news for our association members and municipalities all along the agri-food corridor, in addition to all southern Albertans who will be ecstatic when dirt begins to move next spring. Our association extends our thanks to Premier Danielle Smith and Devin Dreeshen, minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors, for your commitment to this vital project,” said Bill Chapman, president of the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association in the statement.
The twinning association, in its own release said the contractor hiring was more than a year in the making.
“Many meetings to negotiate risk reduction to potential contractors (aka proponents) due to supply chain issues and recent inflation, along with a change in Premier and a Provincial election, all contributed to the delay. But today, at long last, we now know Ledcor Group will lead the project to complete construction twinning of Highway 3 from Taber to Burdett, a critical section of our Agri-Food corridor,” said the association.
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