Full-blown construction of the Highway 43X bypass is hoped to start this May, but preliminary work is being done in the meantime. That includes gravel crushing, some clearing, pile driving and prep for a bridge.
After a rainy summer delayed several road construction projects in Grande Prairie this summer, construction manager Shahid Gill says they’re hoping Mother Nature will be on their side.
“Weather always plays a factor in any construction; we are hoping that the weather delays have been accommodated but it always depends on how weather cooperates. We are still expecting that the job will be completed by October of next year.”
A portion of the bypass was finished several years ago from the intersection of Highway 43 and Highway 2 west to 116th Street. This project finish another 12 kilometres from 116 Street to Richmond Hill. It also includes three bridges to cross the Bear River.
“We do not anticipate a lot of traffic disruption because the contractor will be mainly working on the bare land,” says Gill. “Once the two ends on 116th Street and Richmond Hill are under construction, that’s when a bit of traffic management will be required.”
The $54 million bypass was announced in April 2016 with construction originally expected to start that spring. More than 27,000 vehicles a day currently use Highway 43 and much of that is heavy industrial traffic carrying dangerous goods.