Officials are confident they can get the Highway 43X bypass around Grande Prairie open in the next two weeks. Despite hoping to have it open by the end of August, Alberta Transportation Regional Director Ryan Konowalyk says the weather has pushed their timeline back.
“It’s been a pretty wet summer for the construction crews well across the province and especially in the Grande Prairie area. It was just raining nonstop. The good news is we’re pretty confident in having it open in the next two weeks.”
The bypass project was announced in April 2016 with construction originally expected to start that spring. Construction didn’t actually start until the spring of 2017.
A portion of the bypass was finished several years ago from the intersection of Highway 43 and Highway 2 west to 116th Street. It also included adding three bridges to cross the Bear River.
Work was then scheduled to wrap up in October of 2018 but was extended into spring of 2019 again due to wet conditions. Konowalyk says they still have some finishing touches to do before it’s drivable.
“There’s some paving that’s being finished on the new highway pieces; highway clean up, some paving in the roundabout area. It’s kind of all final kind of the minor stuff to get it ready for traffic to be able to use.”
The roundabout portion of the project, as well as all the bridges along the route, were completed last fall. The total budget for the project was $48 million, which Konowalyk says they are still sitting within.