Alberta’s government is moving forward with plans to twin the important Highway 3 economic corridor between Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
The province is committed to exploring options for twinning the remaining 215 kilometres of Highway 3 in Budget 2023. Now, the province is proceeding with a request for proposals for the first of eight sections of this stretch. The remaining seven sections are at various stages of project readiness.
“Alberta is focused on visionary province and nation-building projects that support local businesses, secure people’s jobs and strengthen communities. Our economy relies on our highway network and the ability to connect Alberta to markets outside the province,“ said Danielle Smith, Premier.
“This will make travel safer, quicker and easier for everyone across southern Alberta. Shipping what we make has been a big problem for our province. Expanding Highway 3 will make it a lot easier for farmers and businesses here to get their products to buyers – whether they live in Alberta or anywhere in the world,” stated Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors.
“This important announcement is a critical step in the larger agri-food processing corridor our government has been developing. It will provide the necessary infrastructure needed to help get our world-class agricultural products to processing plants in the area and then out to feed the world,” said Grant Hunter, MLA for Taber-Warner.
“Highway 3 Twinning Development Association is thrilled that the Government of Alberta sees the importance of this corridor for provincial, national, and international trade. As a primary route for the transport of goods and services, the twinning of Highway 3 is vital for our communities in industry, agri-business, recreation and tourism. The most efficient and safest route is a twinned route,” added Bill Chapman, president, Highway 3 Twinning Development Association.
Projects like this have several stages of development, including consultation, planning and design, land acquisition, environmental assessment, engineering, contract tendering and construction through challenging terrain. The Highway 3 twinning project is being done in a phased approach to maintain cost effectiveness and limit disruption to the people who live and work along the corridor.
The eight phases of this project include:
•Phase 1: 46 kilometres – A request for proposals has been issued to the shortlisted design build proponents to twin Highway 3 between Taber and Burdett. Construction is expected to start in 2023.
•Phase 2: 10 kilometres – Highway 3X/Coleman Bypass. Functional planning studies have been completed and detailed engineering design will begin in spring 2023.
•Phase 3: 15 kilometres – East of Seven Persons to Medicine Hat. Functional planning studies have been completed and detailed engineering design will begin in spring 2023.
•Phase 4: 47 kilometres – Blairmore to east of Highway 6 at Pincher Creek. Functional planning studies have been completed and detailed engineering design will begin in 2023.
•Phase 5: 28 kilometres – East of Bow Island to east of Seven Persons. Functional planning studies have been completed and detailed engineering design will begin in summer 2023.
•Phase 6: 23 kilometres – East of Burdett to east of Bow Island. A functional planning study has been completed and the province will continue to consult with the Town of Bow Island and other stakeholders in order to finalize the alignment.
•Phase 7: 38 kilometres – Pincher Creek to west of Fort Macleod. A functional planning study through Piikani Nation is underway and will continue for some time.
•Phase 8: Eight kilometres – Alberta-B.C. border to Highway 3X. Continued engagement with B.C. is necessary to consider alignment with improvements being planned through the B.C. portion.