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Major upgrades expected as city takes back ownership of 108 Street bypass

The old Grande Prairie bypass may be getting some big upgrades starting next year. When the Highway 43X bypass opened in September, the province handed ownership of the 108 Street bypass back to the city, meaning maintenance and repair is now the responsibility of the City of Grande Prairie.

Director of Infrastructure and Economic Development Brian Glavin says they’ve already started doing some patchwork on 108 Street itself, but the big picture plans won’t likely start until 2020.

“The longer-term program for us is to be doing significant upgrades over the next few years, likely starting next year west of 108 Street, along what would be 100 Avenue out to the airport,” he says. “[That’s] likely the priority project we are going to start with, and after that, we will be identifying projects on a priority basis along with the remainder of that corridor.”

The engineering portion of the 2018 Grande Prairie capital budget, which includes road work rehabilitation sits at just over $42 million, and Glavin says the costs for upgrading the old bypass will be high, but they’ve received a jump start from the provincial government.

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“As part of the transition from the province handing that highway over to us, they also provided us with $20 million to account for some of the deferred maintenance,” he says.

“So, projects that need to be done but haven’t been done yet by the province, we will be allocating that money over this business cycle, likely the next four years, to do some of those deferred projects,” he adds.

Glavin couldn’t give specifics as to when the work would start, or if the work will be done in phases over time.

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