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Highway 40 twinning construction gets clearer start date

Officials with the County of Grande Prairie are pleased with a more concrete timeline for the twinning of Highway 40 South.

There was hope that the 19-kilometre stretch, starting just south of the City of Grande Prairie, to just south of the Norbord plant, was going to see shovels in the ground in 2020, but after a recent update from Alberta Transportation, Spring 2021 is now an expected start time.

Reeve Leanne Beaupre says the province, and county have been working behind the scene to get a fair amount of the administrative portion of the work done. Primarily working on specific aspects of the project, including the need to move utility locations. She adds it’s a good feeling knowing the official starting line is in sight.

“Unfortunately, things don’t happen the way you want them to, but we are excited to hear the timeline they did indicate as a start in 2021 will continue to move ahead,” she says.

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In addition to the twinned section, plans also include a second bridge across the Wapiti River with a pedestrian walkway, improvements to bridges and intersections, upgrading existing lighting to LED, and a median vehicle inspection station to help oversee the safety of the commercial trucking industry.

Beaupre says with a timeline now in place they, can start to look towards the next steps of the plan. She hopes that means even more of the highway becoming twinned.

“It is the start of the light at the end of the tunnel because it’s only 19 kilometres,” she says.

“There is quite a large chunk of highway that goes out towards Archie Way that has a tremendous amount of traffic…at least this is a start and will help immensely with the safety concerns that are there.”

The twinning represents a significant portion of the 2021 County of Grande Prairie capital projects budget, with $3.3 of $24.7 million approved by county councillors, put aside as part of cost-sharing the project with the MD of Greenview and the Government of Alberta.

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