Highway 15 Twinning Project
Built in 1957, the Highway 15 bridge over the North Saskatchewan River into Fort Saskatchewan is a vital Capital Region river crossing that connects Fort Saskatchewan and Strathcona County with Sturgeon County and Edmonton.
This section of Highway 15 is an important service and trade corridor through the Industrial Heartland and a commuter route for thousands of Albertans. It is the only river crossing into Fort Saskatchewan, with one lane of traffic in either direction.
Since 2009, traffic volume on the two-lane Highway 15 bridge has increased by 50 per cent and this growth is expected to continue. Vehicles cross the Highway 15 bridge more than 23,000 times a day and congestion is an issue, especially during peak periods. Because it is a narrow, two-lane structure, collisions often result in the bridge being completely closed to traffic for hours.
For these reasons, the Government of Alberta identified twinning of the Highway 15 bridge over the North Saskatchewan River and the completion of twinning on Highway 15 into Fort Saskatchewan as a major priority in the 2017 Capital Plan. Funding for the twinning project was allocated in Budget 2017 as well as in Budget 2018.
Highway 15 Twinning consists of two separate projects:
- Project A from east of the Highway 15 and Highway 28A intersection to west of the Highway 15 and Highway 37 intersection, which includes:
- Construction of approximately 3km of new lanes south of the existing highway which will become the eastbound lanes.
- Conversion of existing undivided highway to future westbound lanes.
- Extension of the Pilon Creek culvert to accommodate the new lanes.
- Project B from west of the Highway 15 and Highway 37 intersection, crossing the North Saskatchewan River, to east of the 99th Avenue overpass in the City of Fort Saskatchewan, which includes:
- Twinning and construction of a new eastbound two-lane Highway 15 bridge with a pedestrian bridge underneath.
- Existing bridge will remain in service during construction and will become the bridge only carrying westbound traffic.
- Completion of twinning on Highway 15 from east of the Highway 15 and Highway 37 intersection to east of the 99th Avenue overpass in the City of Fort Saskatchewan
- CN overpass modifications
- Retaining wall construction near 99 Avenue in the City of Fort Saskatchewan.
The design work for this multi-year project began in 2017. Following tree clearing work, which is expected to take place by spring 2019, construction could start as early as summer 2019, contingent on the completion of railway crossing improvements and utility relocations.
- The construction is expected to get underway in summer 2019.
- The construction is expected to be open to traffic by fall 2019.
- A Request for Qualification has already been advertised for the selection of qualified bidders to be invited to bid on the construction tender.
- Construction is expected to get underway in summer 2019.
- The construction of a project of this size typically takes about three years.
An additional bridge will alleviate congestion on the existing Highway 15 bridge thereby improving drive times for local commuters.
The project will support economic development by improving the connection between Fort Saskatchewan, Sturgeon County and the Industrial Heartland.
It will improve access for existing industries, agricultural producers and businesses in the area, including two multi-billion dollar petrochemical facilities planned for development in Sturgeon and Strathcona Counties, and allow for efficient movement of goods and people throughout the Capital Region and beyond.
This project will not only support hundreds of jobs over the next few years, both on the project and, indirectly, in surrounding communities, it will also provide the infrastructure this province needs to ensure future economic growth and sustained job opportunities in the years to come.
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