Local Journalism Initiative
A 36-kilometre stretch of Hwy. 40 will soon be widened and made safer for travellers between Hwy. 16 and Grande Cache.
The province announced it would fund the $50M project that it says will support 255 jobs and address traffic safety issues associated with the narrow and busy corridor.
“The project is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan,” stated Cole Hogan, press secretary of Transportation Alberta.
Almost $200M of that infrastructure spending is being invested in projects that stretch 180 kilometres along Hwy 40, according to the Alberta Transportation website.
“These roadways are important for commerce and industry. Well maintained infrastructure will encourage further investment in West Yellowhead,” said Martin Long, MLA for West Yellowhead.
Project details are still being finalized and going through final environmental approvals.
The project is expected to take 24 months to complete, with construction starting next year and completion in 2023.
Improvements to the highway within West Yellowhead are located between Wildhay River and Pinto Creek, and north and south of the Berland River.
Projects include grade widening, new climbing lanes, multiple repaving projects, bridge replacements and culvert repairs.
About 1,240 vehicles travel on this stretch of the highway per day.
The 36-kilometre section of Hwy. 40 within West Yellowhead will be expanded from a width of eight metres to 12 metres, and will include culvert extensions.
“Widening will upgrade the highway to proper safety standards and increase lane and shoulder widths,” stated Long.
Long added that these infrastructure improvements south of Grande Cache will help give industry, residents and visitors peace of mind while exploring one of the most scenic places in the province, Long added.
“This project is part of our government’s recovery plan to create jobs, build infrastructure to spur economic growth, and continue to diversify our economy,” stated Ric McIver, minister of transportation in a news release.
Improving Highway 40 provides better access to the Rocky Mountains and creates jobs and economic development in important natural resource industries, he added.
McIver also stated that Yellowhead County and the Municipal District of Greenview are growing destinations for tourism, recreation, natural gas developments, and increasing forestry activity.
Yellowhead County builds, manages, and maintains all Yellowhead County-owned roads like main paved roads, and local gravel roads, but all provincial primary and secondary highways are managed and maintained by the province.
The county received a June 23 letter from McIver mentioning re-paving work on Hwy. 16 as part of the province’s $2 billion for Capital Maintenance and Renewal (CMR) projects.
Yellowhead County does pave the road connectivity network, which act as main arteries to connect residents and industry traffic in Yellowhead County to the provincial highways and other locations in the county, explained Stefan Felsing, communications coordinator of Yellowhead County.