The Government of Alberta will spend more than $50 million over the next four years to add passing lanes, build a new staging/rest area, and improve intersections and roadside turnouts along Highway 881 between Lac La Biche and Anzac.
“Highway 881 is an important route for heavy trucks, equipment, and passenger vehicles moving north into Alberta’s oilsands,” said Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation. “Upgrading this highway will make travel easier for drivers on this route by building passing lanes to get around the heavy and super-heavy equipment heading to our oilsands regions. Improving Highway 881 will also encourage future investment in our energy sector by making it easier to move into and out of northern Alberta.”
The 37-kilometre project starts southeast of Fort McMurray. Currently there are no passing lanes in either direction along this stretch of highway.
“This is very positive news for our region. We thank Minister McIver and the Alberta government for this key investment in transportation infrastructure that will benefit our communities, enhance public safety, and support economic growth for industry, workers, and all of us,” said Don Scott, mayor, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
Until 2006, Highway 881 was a two-lane gravel road with narrow shoulders. Some sections still have narrow shoulders that become congested with high volumes of heavy and over-sized loads. Upgrades will provide better access to new developments along this stretch of Highway 881.
Engineering and design work for this project is underway. Construction on the project is slated to begin in 2022.