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Volume 22, Number 11, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hwy 15 bridge

to be twinned

After decades of neglect and years of public pressure, we are finally getting action on the Highway 15 bridge problem.

Details of the solution are yet to come, but we do know that it will involve improving the existing crossing at Fort Saskatchewan. That is very good news because it is the solution most drivers have always wanted and expected.

The neglect has been staggering. The last significant improvement to that highway was the twinned Manning Freeway from Edmonton to Horse Hills in 1972.

Work stopped at roughly the point MLA Walter Buck’s riding began. Buck was a Socred, not a member of the ruling PC party.

This kind of political game playing has made cynics of us all. Which why, perhaps, many people reacted less than enthusiastically to the news of the promise to twin the bridge.

While many were happy with the announcement, some were also doubtful, saying it is only an attempt to win votes, or that it won’t actually happen.

There is reason to wonder how long it will take to actually get a twin bridge. Even with the best of will, and a fat bank account, it takes years to build such a structure. The final leg of the Anthony Henday freeway was promised by our own MLA and Premier Ed Stelmach in 2011 and not completed until 2016.

Our hospital took even longer. First promised in 2005, a sod turning was not held until 2007 and work didn’t actually begin until 2008. Even then, there was concern the money might not be available to complete it, but it did finally open in 2012.

So those naysayers out there had best give this new government a chance. As an old Conservative friend of mine pointed out years ago: Thank you is the correct response.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Paranormal tour at Fort museumNEWS/Entries/2017/3/22_Paranormal_tour_at_Fort_museum.html

Time to thank Alberta government

The Highway 15 bridge will be twinned, Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci told Fort residents last week.

“Families in Fort Saskatchewan have been clear that current highways and bridges in the area don’t have enough capacity,” Ceci said during his 2017 Alberta budget speech Thursday, March 16.

“The area has grown substantially over the last couple of decades and more needs to be done to ease traffic congestion and help get people where they need to be.

“For this reason, we are going to twin the Highway 15 bridge, which is the only river crossing in the area. Planning and design work will begin this year.”

The 2017 Alberta budget includes $10 million for the planning and design work, says MLA Jessica Littlewood.

The plan will also include twinning Highway 15 all the way through to  Edmonton, and a solution to the Highway 15, 37 and 825 intersection, she adds.

“I have been pushing for this ever since I was elected, and I’m so happy our government has paid attention to the needs of our great constituency,” Littlewood says. “This will put people to work in Fort Saskatchewan during construction and will boost the local economy and make driving safer when it’s completed.”

“Our government continues to put Albertans first and invest in these critical road improvement projects, which are long overdue.,” she adds.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017