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City taking over existing Highway 43 bypass

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Once the Highway 43 X bypass is complete in fall of 2018, the 13 kilometre stretch of highway that runs through Grande Prairie will become the city’s jurisdiction. Mayor Bill Given says council is worried about taking on infrastructure that could cost taxpayers significant amounts of money.

“When we think about the condition of that physical asset and the infrastructure that is there today… there was a report by Alberta Transportation in about 2004 that identified that the road that is there today will need 50 to $70 million in upgrades.”

Alberta Transportation has agreed in principle to fund a study on the current condition of the road as well as provide $20 million in capital funds for foreseeable work. Given says council is seeing the funding being handed down as a positive because the province has no obligations to send money when they transfer over infrastructure.

Given adds that the construction of the new bypass is appreciated but that the existing road will continue to serve the entire region and bring people to important facilities like the Grande Prairie Regional College or the new regional hospital.

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The Highway 43 X bypass construction is set to begin this summer.

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