Two highway improvement projects in the Edmonton region are getting a boost, following an announcement that the federal and provincial governments are investing more than $180 million between them.
The federal government announced on March 29 that it is contributing more than $73 million, while the Alberta government is contributing more than $114 million to double the lanes on Highway 19 near Devon and Beaumont and on Highway 15 connecting Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan.
The projects will aim to ease congestion, reducing traffic accidents and smoothing the trade network by allowing more volumes of commercial and industrial traffic through the two significant trade corridors.
"Improvements to these two highways will enhance road safety, help manage traffic volume, and reduce travel times for travellers and freight transporters," said Larry Bagnell, secretary to the federal minister of economic development.
Malcolm Bruce, CEO of Edmonton Global, said Highways 15 and 19 are critical to the region's economic development, since they connect areas that are already rapidly growing.
"There is exponential growth that is occurring in the southwest," Bruce said, pointing to the recently opened Amazon fulfillment centre in Leduc County, commercial and light industrial development around the Edmonton International Airport, and residential growth in the southernmost portions of Edmonton. "(Highway 19) directly connects Devon and Beaumont to those opportunities."
Meanwhile, Highway 15 is important for the transportation of goods into the Edmonton region that are produced in the industrial heartland to the northeast.