Highway re-alignment cut from provincial budget

Paving of the Highway 12 re-alignment around Gull Lake and Bentley won’t be happening anytime soon.

  • May. 21, 2013 4:00 p.m.

By Steve Dills

Paving of the Highway 12 re-alignment around Gull Lake and Bentley won’t be happening anytime soon.

It’s not even on the province’s three-year plan.

Grading, however, is nearing completion, said Mike Damberger, Alberta Transportation’s regional director for the central region.

“We split it into two projects so we’re going to be half finished for a while,” he told Lacombe County councillors recently.

“Base paving is not on the three-year program. We need to get it back in there.”

Damberger admitted completion of the Highway 12 project “is a high priority for us. We don’t like to start things and not finishing them.

“It’s not like we chose another project over Highway 12, we don’t have any capital projects,” he said of the central region.

A few high profile projects survived budget cuts earlier this spring including Highway 63 to Fort McMurray, an interchange in south Edmonton and ring roads.

“If (provincial) revenues recover and budgets recover it could go faster than three years.”

Damberger said in the 13 years he’s been in the Red Deer office, they’ve gone through this cycle three times already. “There were projects in the three-year program that were removed because of the budget.”

Asked about weed control in the construction area, which could be susceptible to scentless chamomile, Damberger indicated ditches along the re-alignment will be seeded and grass is going to be mowed.

Dust control will also be applied to the range roads south of the old highway to the new alignment where construction has occurred. Lacombe County will be doing the work under contract from Alberta Transportation, said Phil Lodermeier, the county’s manager of operations.

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