Smoother highways in High Prairie region

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Driving on highways in the High Prairie region will be smoother in the coming months as improvement projects have started.

Alberta Transportation has announced several upgrades on provincial highways, says a Big Lakes County news released dated May 29.

Projects are slated for both the county and in the southeastern corner of the M.D. of Smoky River.

“Big Lakes County is very grateful that Alberta Transportation has chosen to repair roads and culverts within our county,” Reeve Richard Simard says in the news release.

“As many of us know, these much-needed repairs will improve the driving conditions and the safety of drivers travelling on these roads.”

Smoky River Reeve Robert Brochu is delighted to hear that the highways are being improved.

“I’m happy that the government is keeping up with its commitment and happy that they’re doing the work,” Brochu says.

“The highway is pretty bad in the Little Smoky River area.”

Construction has started and is expected to be complete by late summer 2020.

Work in Big Lakes has been approved to:

  • -Mill and pave of 11.5 km of Highway 2 in the Kinuso area between west of Highway 33 and east of Highway 33.
  • -Mill and pave Spruce Street into Faust and Range Road 101A into Kinuso.
  • -Pave various patches on Highway 749 from south of Township Road 740 to High Prairie.

Projects in the Smoky River area include:

  • -Improve the intersection of Highway 2A and Highway 747.
  • -Pave 27.5 km of Highway 2A between Highway 49 and Highway 2.
  • -Mill and pave 3.5 km of Highway 49 between Highway 2A and south of the Little Smoky River.
  • -Repair slide areas on Highway 2A.
  • -Repair slide areas on Highway 747.

Culverts are also being replaced in both municipalities.

Alberta Transportation awarded a contract to E Construction for the projects.

The upgrade on Highway 2 in the Kinuso area was announced by the government in a news release May 6.

Calls for upgrades were made to Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn when he spoke with Big Lakes County council at its regular meeting April 22.

Rehn and council agreed that some sections of provincial highways need major upgrades.

“Highway 2 between Kinuso and Slave Lake is definitely on the list,” Rehn says.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic recession, the province announced almost $2 billion from the 2020 capital plan to resurface roads, repair bridges, fill potholes and restore schools, the release says.

Safety for workers is paramount and everyone’s responsibility.

Motorists are advised to drive safely in construction zones.

Slow traffic and delays are expected.

Follow the signs and reduce your speed when driving through road construction sites.

Anyone with questions or concerns on the projects in Big Lakes is welcome to phone Vic Abel, county director of public works at [780] 523-5955.

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