Drivers on Hwy 2 may have noticed what looks like a small army of construction equipment on the west side north of Blackfalds.
All that activity is related to the construction of a new service road connecting Hwy 12 to the Aspelund Road to the north along Range Road 27-3.
“We’re booming right along,” said Phil Lodermeier, Lacombe County’s director of operations.
“There’s a massive amount of equipment that was moved in there.”
About a dozen scrapers were at work recently on the new gravel road, which is a $1.6-million project.
Both county equipment and heavy machinery from Pidherney’s Trucking, which won an $875,000 contract for the job, are at work on the road.
The roughly five-km stretch of gravel road was needed because Alberta Transportation is closing a pair of access points to the highway as part of a long-running program to eliminate level crossings and direct traffic to interchanges.
One of the routes being eliminated was a side road that led to the Grumpy’s Restaurant, which was torn down a few years ago.
The move meant building a service road to give a handful of county residents access to their homes.
Lodermeier said Alberta Transportation planned to build a new route to the homes from one direction.
But the county offered to build the other road so the site could be reached from both directions.
“It just seemed to fit to complete the local infrastructure and give access to the land and to the residences along there in both directions.”
The road may also prove useful if that stretch of Hwy 2 frontage is developed in the future.
To make way for the new route, a house must be moved. That is expected to happen soon.
The owner is building a new home nearby.
Later this fall, the Duckett Road access, which leads to the Nursery Golf Course, will be closed off at the highway.
Lodermeier said it’s hoped the road will be finished by the end of the month.