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Next phase of Highway 63 expansion begins


August 28, 2013
By Alberta Ministry of Transportation

August 28,
2013, Edmonton, Alta. – Motorists in Alberta will soon see twinning
construction in full swing on another 32 km of Highway 63 between House River
and south of Mariana Lake.

August 28,
2013, Edmonton, Alta. – Motorists in Alberta will soon see twinning
construction in full swing on another 32 km of Highway 63 between House River
and south of Mariana Lake. The project, awarded through competitive tender
to Carmacks Group Ltd. with a bid price of approximately $147 million, is
scheduled to be completed by 2015. In addition to grading and paving to create
two new highway lanes, three new bridges will be constructed to safely carry
motorists over Bear Creek, Crow Creek and House River.

Since
2005, more than $350 million has been invested to twin Highway 63 between
Grasslands and Fort McMurray. Albertans will see another three years of heavy
construction activity along Highway 63 as twinning continues on an accelerated
schedule for completion in fall 2016, an investment of approximately $1
billion. 

Crews
began to mobilize onsite in mid-August and the work will be in full swing by
the beginning of September. Crews will soon begin grading work around the
clock, beginning near House River and making their way north.

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Protecting
wildlife

Twinning
this section of Highway 63 is one of the most environmentally complex projects
along the entire highway route. It overlaps two Caribou Management zones
and there are restrictions for construction
activities during the bird nesting period and in stream activity.

To permit
and protect wildlife passage, there will be 10 metre gaps left every 200 metres
in topsoil stockpiles along the construction site. In addition, to help promote
the Government of Alberta’s recovery goal of Arctic Grayling and other
fish species, spawning pools will be constructed
near the House River bridge site and turbidity monitoring will be conducted on
a regular basis.

Highway 63
is unique in Alberta when it comes to construction challenges, including
continuous muskeg and boreal forest, pipeline crossings, and the size of
industrial vehicles needed for the oil sands, 30 per cent of which are heavy
loads. The new twinning has been specially designed to safely serve oversized
traffic in addition to regular vehicle traffic. 

Access to
markets

The
accelerated twinning of Highway 63 is part of the government’s commitment to
building Alberta’s economic future through a transportation network that helps
move goods across Alberta to local, national or international destinations.
Twinning between Highway 55 and Fort McMurray is one of many
Highway 63 projects currently under construction to
support market access and economic opportunities in the core transportation
network, promote safe travel for industry and Albertans, and improve the flow
of goods and services.