ARCHIVED - Governments of Canada and Alberta to Boost Economy and Create Jobs with Interchange Upgrades Near Fort McMurray

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Fort McMurray, Alberta, April 24, 2009 — The governments of Canada and Alberta are working together to stimulate the Canadian economy by partnering to upgrade roads in and around Fort McMurray, federal Minister of Labour, Rona Ambrose, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Brian Jean, and Luke Ouellette, Alberta Minister of Transportation, announced today.

The federal government will set aside up to one-half of total eligible costs, to a maximum federal contribution of $53 million, for improvements to Highway 63 near Fort McMurray. An interchange will be constructed on Highway 63 at Thickwood Boulevard and another will be constructed at Confederation Way. In addition, Highway 63 will be widened from four lanes to six lanes from Morrison Street to the Athabasca River Bridge. The upgrades will reduce congestion, increase capacity and enhance safety at those locations.

"From coast to coast, the Government of Canada is proud to work with our partners to build the roads, bridges and other crucial infrastructure that will improve safety, boost the economy and create jobs for Canadians," said Minister Ambrose. "This key investment will not only help Canada emerge from this economic downturn but will also create more modern and safer highways that will pave the way for the future economic growth and prosperity of this country."

"Alberta Transportation is moving forward on major highway infrastructure improvements in Fort McMurray and surrounding area that will reduce congestion and improve traffic safety," said Ouellette. "In addition to the construction of the Thickwood Boulevard and Confederation Way interchanges, and road widening south of the river, construction continues on the $127-million five-lane bridge across the Athabasca River."

"Our government is stimulating Alberta's economy by taking action to improve safety on highways in the Fort McMurray area," said Mr. Jean. "This much-needed construction will greatly diminish congestion on Highway 63 in Fort McMurray, make the highway safer for drivers and create jobs locally."

The Government of Canada is accelerating and expanding recent historic federal investments in infrastructure with almost $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over two years.

A backgrounder with more detailed information on the two projects is attached.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Hilton
Office of the Minister of State for Transport
Rob Merrifield, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Infrastructure Canada
613-948-1148

Heather Kaszuba
Communications
Alberta Transportation
780-422-7070 
To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000

For further information, visit Creating Jobs. Alberta Transportation is online at
Alberta Transportation.

Backgrounder
Road Upgrades in and Around Fort McMurray

The Government of Canada will set aside up to $53 million, to a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible costs, for improvements to Highway 63 in and around Fort McMurray. Federal funding is conditional on the projects meeting all federal eligibility requirements under Building Canada and the signing of a contribution agreement with the Province of Alberta.

Highway 63 Interchange at Thickwood Boulevard

The interchange will be constructed to replace the existing intersection of Highway 63 and Thickwood Boulevard. This interchange will relieve congestion and improve safety at this location.

Highway 63 Interchange at Confederation Way

The interchange will be constructed to replace the existing intersection of Highway 63 and Confederation Way. This interchange will relieve congestion and improve safety at this location.

Highway 63 Widening from Morrison Street to the Athabasca River Bridge

Highway 63 will be widened from four lanes to six lanes from Morrison Street to the Athabasca River Bridge. The widening will increase capacity, relieve congestion and improve safety along this section of Highway 63.

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