Roads & Bridges
New interchange will unlock economic potential in Leduc, Alta.
By CTV News
By CTV News
Construction on a new long-awaited interchange at Highway 2 and 65 Avenue in Leduc, Alta. will begin this summer, the province has announced.
The project includes a new overpass over the Queen Elizabeth II Highway with new on-off ramps, improvements to existing ramps in the area, completion of Perimeter Road and 65 Avenue, and intersection improvements at 65 Avenue and 50 Street in Leduc.
The joint project, shared with the City of Leduc, will receive $80 million from the province with an expected three-year completion target. The total cost is pegged around $96 million.
So far, $5 million has been spent on engineering and design work and land acquisition. The province anticipates 470 new construction jobs to be created.
Premier Jason Kenney said the project would help ease traffic flow in the area and ensure secondary access for medivac and EMS vehicles for airport transfers.
“(This project) makes a long-term improvement to the quality of life for folks relying on this key transportation corridor,” Kenney said.
“This day has finally come,” said Bob Young, Leduc mayor, adding it remained the city’s number one infrastructure priority since early 2000.
“This is an essential infrastructure project,” he added. “This development will play a vital role in unlocking our region’s full economic potential.”
Preliminary design work for the interchange was released in 2017. Initially, the province was going to contribute $33 million to the project. According to Rob Williams, Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney’s press secretary, the federal government denied the province’s application for $45.5 million grant funding through the national trade corridors program.
“That’s why Alberta is providing the majority of funding for the project,” Williams added.
The Official Opposition recognized the “vital” importance of the project but said work should have started three years ago.
“That’s when our NDP government committed to building a new interchange at 65 Avenue and the QE II in Leduc because we recognized it as a vital stretch of highway for the people of Leduc and a global trade corridor,” said Lorne Dach, NDP transportation critic.
“If this project had gone ahead three years ago, it would be complete by now. Instead, we have three years of lost economic opportunity,” Dach added in a statement.