The Government of Alberta’s Budget 2023 includes $8 billion for the Ministry of Transportation and Economic Corridors’ three-year capital plan, a $718-million increase compared with Budget 2022.
“Budget 2023 is focused on securing Alberta’s future by growing the economy. Our investments will enhance economic corridors that provide vital links to markets in and out of Alberta, helping our industries expand and succeed. These projects will increase the safety and efficiency of our provincial highway network, improving travel for Albertans and commercial carriers in key industries,” said Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors.
The total capital investment is $2 billion for planning, design and construction of major highway and bridge projects. This work focuses on improving traffic flow and supporting investments in the province’s major trade corridors. Examples of projects across the province that are receiving funding include the Calgary and Edmonton ring roads, Highway 3 twinning, Highway 11 twinning, and replacing the Highway 2 and Highway 556 interchange at Balzac. This capital investment funding also includes $75.5 million over three years for 23 engineering or planning projects to address known future needs.
“Highway 63, north of Fort McMurray, is a critical link in northern Alberta for oversize and overweight vehicles transporting goods for the energy sector. Twinning this highway will improve efficiency and safety for both commercial drivers and commuters. It also enables oilsands workers to more easily commute from Fort McMurray, which we know provides a healthier lifestyle for them and their families as opposed to flying from out of province and living in a camp. The workers who decide to make this move will see the benefits of living in such an amazing province like Alberta,” said Tany Yao, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo
“Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association is pleased that the 55-year-old Vinca Bridge replacement is included in the Government of Alberta’s 2023 budget. As a vital component of Alberta’s high-load corridor and a strategic connector in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, the bridge services a thriving industrial zone with over $45 billion in total capital investment and billions more expected in the coming years. Replacing Vinca Bridge will shorten travel times, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the competitiveness of both the Industrial Heartland and the manufacturing supply chain that contributes to its success.” said Mark Plamondon, executive director, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association.
Budget 2023 also includes $1.7 billion over three years for capital maintenance and renewal, which extends the life of the province’s existing road and bridge network and helps industry create and maintain jobs. These investments will allow the province to maintain existing roads and bridges to support safe and efficient travel to benefit Albertans and the economy.
Transportation and Economic Corridors will also be providing $3.9 billion for capital grants to municipalities over the next three years. This includes maintaining the funding commitment to Calgary and Edmonton for their LRT projects and continuing to provide funding for the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program to help municipalities improve critical local transportation infrastructure. Ongoing investments in water and wastewater infrastructure programs will also ensure all Albertans have reliable access to clean drinking water and effective wastewater services.
Additionally, Budget 2023 will provide nearly $400 million to support building and repairing water management infrastructure that provides irrigation for the agriculture sector and flood mitigation for Alberta communities such as the Springbank Off-stream Reservoir.
Featured image: (Government of Alberta)