Motorists advised to drive Highway 63 with extra caution during construction
Highway 63 drivers will see more work crews along the roadway as construction starts this week on eight passing lanes between House River and Highway 881.
As part of fast-tracked construction efforts, this project will provide motorists with more safe passing opportunities.
“The accelerated passing lanes construction is a clear demonstration of our government’s commitment to enhance safety and improve traffic flow on Highway 63, and to implement the recommendations in the Allen report,” said Minister of Transportation Ric McIver.
“We have initiated many short-term initiatives and are advancing the essential infrastructure for a safer Highway 63.”
Carmacks Enterprises Ltd. is the contractor on this $7 million project that will add two new passing lanes and extensions to six existing passing lanes between House River and the junction with Highway 881.
Work is scheduled to begin August 30, and several lanes are expected to open later this fall, with the remainder opening in summer 2013, weather permitting.
“I’m very encouraged that the Minister of Transportation is moving aggressively on additional passing lanes on Highway 63,” said Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Mike Allen. “During my consultations, I heard from many people that these passing lanes are needed to provide for more safe passing opportunities.”
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Three tenders for passing lanes; grading; and tree clearing were issued in July 2012 following the release of Towards a Safer 63.
In the report, Allen recommended accelerated twinning and passing lane construction in high-congestion areas.
Grading and tree clearing on the next section of twinning have been tendered, with announcements expected in the coming months.
Both projects are expected to be complete by fall 2013.
“I am very pleased to see the province move forward with MLA Mike Allen’s recommendations,” said Wood Buffalo Mayor Melissa Blake. “Until the highway is twinned, we can improve safety with additional passing lanes, increased enforcement and drivers themselves being responsible.”
Motorists are reminded to drive with caution in construction zones and obey all signs, flag people and posted speed limits. Fines for speeding are double when workers are present.