Prairie Post (East Edition)

Twin­ning ad­vo­cates won’t stop push­ing High­way 3

- By Collin Gal­lant Business · Canada News · Medicine Hat · Lethbridge · Alberta · U.S. government · Goodyear · Taber · Burdett · Crowsnest Pass · Bow Island

Ad­vo­cates for the twin­ning of High­way 3 say they hope to keep up mo­men­tum as the prov­ince plans to start work on some sec­tions this sum­mer.

That in­cludes a call to bring in­dus­try voices on board the ef­fort, which has al­ready brought sup­port from Medicine Hat-based ma­jor man­u­fac­turer, Goodyear Tires.

“We want to up­date part­ners along the whole cor­ri­dor and are re­ally grate­ful for the prov­ince get­ting this started,” said as­so­ci­a­tion chair Bill Chap­man, a town of Coal­dale coun­cil­lor. We’re see­ing a keen in­ter­est from the prov­ince and re­ally a lot of in­ter­est from key stake­hold­ers.

“We’re watch­ing for pre­dictable fund­ing for the rest of the projects.”

The prov­ince an­nounced in July it would spend $150 mil­lion to pro­vide di­vided high­way lanes on a 43-kilo­me­tre stretch from Taber to Bur­dett.

Work on por­tions could be­gin in the com­ing con­struc­tion sea­son.

Lob­by­ing for up­grades has al­ways in­cluded mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and cham­bers of com­merce along the route from Medicine Hat through Leth­bridge to the Crowsnest Pass.

Chap­man said the re­gional out­look for ir­ri­ga­tion, food pro­duc­tion and gen­eral busi­ness devel­op­ment should im­prove high­way up­grades as an eco­nomic pri­or­ity.

Other listed in­dus­try back­ers in­clude food pro­duc­ers Lamb-We­ston and Lan­tic Sugar, which both op­er­ate in the Taber to Leth­bridge cor­ri­dor.

Sev­eral re­gional truck­ing firms are also noted, and some home­builders and hous­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers in Bow Is­land and Medicine Hat are on board as well as the Al­berta Sugar Beet Pro­duc­ers and Al­berta Potato Grow­ers.

A late 2020 an­nounce­ment by Al­berta Agri­cul­ture and the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s In­fra­struc­ture bank will see reser­voir devel­op­ment and ex­panded acreage in sev­eral ir­ri­ga­tion dis­tricts in the re­gion, in­clud­ing the St. Mary’s sys­tem that stretches the length of high­way cor­ri­dor.

That is seen as a fore­run­ner of in­creased crop pro­duc­tion and, po­ten­tially, more spe­cialty crop pro­cess­ing.

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