By Collin Gallant
Southern Alberta Newspapers
New plans to potentially widen Highway 41 south to Elkwater will be examined in the 2023-24 Alberta Transportation work plan, released this month, but resurfacing the Trans-Canada Bridge in Medicine appears to be another year away.
Engineering work will also begin on twinning Highway 3 from Medicine Hat to Seven Persons, a high-profile promise of Premier Danielle Smith, who last fall announced phased planning approach to improving the southern Alberta corridor.
Money to twin portions of the route between Taber and Burdett were announced in 2020 by then premier Jason Kenney, and in November, Smith announced construction would proceed in 2023. while at the same time saying the stretch of road between Medicine Hat and the B.C. boundary would be divided into sections for focused study and construction over time.
At the 2020 announcement, the province announced pandemic-related stimulus projects that included an examination to reinforce and resurface the eastbound span of the Trans-Canada Bridge. That bridge was used heavily for several years in the early 2010s as the westbound bridge was replaced.
Engineering work on the highway overpass at the CP Railline between Medicine Hat and Redcliff is also scheduled.
This year the provincial department will also study lighting improvements at the junction of Highways 1 and 3 in Medicine Hat, where new ramps were added two years ago.
Near Medicine Hat, Highway 41 will see design work for 21 km of repaving in future years from the TCH to 14 km north of the junction with Highway 41A.
Other secondary highway and water projects are in various stages:
– Highway 61, engineering work to improve roadway between Orion and Manyberries;
– Water projects show design work to improve three dams in Cypress County at Jaydot and Ambroise Flats, and Granlea (in Forty Mile County);
– Highway 877, repave 17 km from Highway 3 at Grassy Lake.