The County of Grande Prairie is continuing its campaign for the twinning of 19 kilometres of Highway 40 south of the city. Reeve Leanne Beaupre says she had a very frank conversation with Transportation Minister Ric McIver during his last visit to the area but adds she knows the economic reality facing those at the provincial level.
“They recognize that this is an area where there is a lot of investment being realized, but it’s also generating more income for the province, so they realize this is an important place,” she says.
In December 2018, the former NDP government announced plans to start twinning the highway with construction set to start in 2022. However, progress on that project has not been made public and no start date has been announced since the United Conservative Party formed a government.
Beaupre believes the County and other local governments have done their part in making sure transportation infrastructure is taken care of as best as possible. She adds that the proof is in the pudding when it comes to the need for upgraded infrastructure on one of the busiest roadways in the region.
“If you travel Highway 40 any time you’ll be able to see the sheer volumes of traffic on that road, and it’s diverse traffic. It’s not just industry; it’s people going to and from work, people who live across the other side of the river, and school buses that bring kids into town for school.”
At last check, Beaupre heard the province was working on ways to fund the twinning project, but work remains to be done before shovels can hit the ground. County of Grande Prairie council has also formally requested a meeting with Minister McIver to discuss traffic circles at Highway 43X as well as Highway 40X West.