Updated: Highway between Sylvan Lake and Rocky Mountain House to be twinned

Construction on $120-million project expected to start next year

A 66-kilometre stretch of highway from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House will be twinned in a $120-million project that will give the region a tourism and economic boost, announced Premier Jason Kenney on Friday.

The investment is part of Alberta’s $10-billion recovery plan and will create about 580 jobs, while upgrading the highway and improving traffic flow along an important recreation corridor to the West Country, says the government.

Kenney was joined by a small crowd of provincial and municipal officials as he announced the project in Kuusamo Industrial Park, just southwest of Sylvan Lake.

The premier said the West Country is “blessed with plenty of rich farm and pasture land and a treasure trove of natural resources, including timber, coal, oil and gas.

“These primary industries, including resource exploration and development, are hugely important to the economy in this area, as is the growing tourism sector.

“There is enornous potential to expand all of these economic drivers, and the David Thompson Highway is the backbone to support that investment to create those future jobs and to generate the growth that will come along with it.

Engineering and design work is to start immediately, and construction, which will be done in sections, will begin next year. The government did not say how long it would take to the complete the project.

Transportation Minister Ric McIver said the twinning improves safety, helps build the region’s tourism industry and improves an important transportation link for area industry.

The project will also see the Secondary Highway 781 intersection — long a local irritant because of its poor access — improved southwest of the town.

Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon said the number of tourists to the region has been “exploding” in recent years.

“Anything we can do to enhance access to those tourism hot spots is welcomed,” said Nixon, Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said the previous twinning of the highway between Sylvan Lake to Red Deer improved safety and efficiency and created economic opportunities.

“The twinning of Highway 11 from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House is yet another step in our province’s continued growth as a leader in the development of communities, industry and tourism.”

Rocky Mountain House Mayor Tammy Burke also applauded the government’s investment

The twinning will “bring enormous change to our community, starting with safety and ending with economic growth.

“This is great news for our future.”

Burke said the region has seen more visitors as Albertans choose to vacation closer to home.

“We know that these visitors, once they see what our incredible town and region have to offer, will be back.”



News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vaping persists amongst Canadian youth

New survey into vaping habits of youth

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

Skydivers raise money for Kids Cancer Care at Innisfail Airport

A group of Albertans proved they would go to new heights to… Continue reading

Notley to stay on as Alberta NDP leader for 2023 provincial election

The NDP took almost all of Edmonton but few seats outside of the city

Hay’s Daze: Happy to be left out of the picture

Talk about being out of the loop. Head in the sand. Uninformed,… Continue reading

O’Toole, Blanchet both test positive for COVID-19 Friday, remain in isolation

OTTAWA — Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has tested positive for COVID-19. O’Toole… Continue reading

COVID-19 task force worries Trump’s rush to approve vaccine will spook Canadians

OTTAWA — Members of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine task force are… Continue reading

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

VANCOUVER — Health care workers in Canada made up about 20 per… Continue reading

Hurricane Teddy remains on track for Atlantic Canada, expected as tropical storm

HALIFAX — Hurricane Teddy remains on track to pass through wide areas… Continue reading

Trump to Senate: Vote ‘without delay’ on his high court pick

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Saturday urged the Republican-run Senate to… Continue reading

Vancouver Whitecaps fighting for playoff position on U.S. road trip

Vancouver Whitecaps fighting for playoff position on U.S. road trip

Toronto FC expects to play six games in home away from home in East Hartford

Toronto FC expects to play six games in home away from home in East Hartford

Most Read