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Alberta upgrading rural infrastructure

By Adam Freill   

Bridges Construction Infrastructure Roads

Provincial government providing grants to rural and remote municipalities to support new road, bridge, community airport and water infrastructure projects.

Alberta has announced more than $236 million in grants that will support 125 local transportation and water infrastructure projects in small and rural communities across the province. The Ministry of Transportation and Economic Corridors says the funding is critical to ensuring Alberta communities have safe and efficient local roads, bridges and community airports to attract further investment and improve travel safety.

The funding will be distributed via the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP), the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) and Water for Life program. STIP provides grants to small and rural municipalities to maintain and improve local road bridges, community airports and local resource roads. AMWWP and the Water for Life program provide grants to municipalities to assist in the construction of high-priority municipal water supply and treatment facilities, as well as wastewater treatment and disposal facilities.

“These provincial grants will help local communities repair aging infrastructure and build capacity for future population and economic growth. Upgrades to water and wastewater infrastructure, airports, bridges and roads will improve Albertans’ quality of life and improve everyday travel,” stated Devin Dreeshen, the province’s minister of transportation and economic corridors.

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A total of 86 local road, bridge, and community airport projects are receiving funding this year under STIP, including a $906,000-grant for a runway paving project at Big Bend Airport in Red Deer County, a $4.8-million grant for a bridge replacement in East Prairie Metis Settlement, and a $2.4-million grant for road improvements in Grande Prairie County. Additionally, a $2.8-million grant is being provided for highway service road paving in Valleyview, which will improve the road surface and durability to support increased traffic volumes in the region.

“Sustaining vital infrastructure is a key priority for Parkland County and we are thankful to have received funding from the Government of Alberta’s Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program to help extend the life cycle of critical infrastructure throughout the county,” stated Parkland County mayor Allan Gamble. “Programs such as STIP are essential in allowing municipalities to meet the needs and safety of residents and businesses while enhancing economic growth in our region.”

Funding is also being provided for 39 water and wastewater projects this year. Approved projects under the Water for Life program include a $14.9-million grant to Athabasca County for construction of the Island Lake Regional Water Extension, which will supply water to six summer villages from the ASPEN Regional Water Services Commission in Athabasca. Additionally, a $13.7-million grant will support the construction of a regional waterline from the Town of High River to the Town of Nanton, helping to address water supply issues in Nanton.

An $8-million grant is also being provided to the West Inter-Lake District Regional Water Commission under the Water for Life program to support the last phase of an extensive regional water system project covering the inter-lake district, east of Edmonton.

“Rural municipalities manage massive infrastructure networks that provide industry with access to natural resources and markets. Provincial funding helps rural municipalities build and maintain these networks,” explained Kara Westerlund, vice-president of Rural Municipalities of Alberta. “We look forward to working with the Government of Alberta to ensure these programs continue to meet rural municipal needs.”

Approved projects under the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership include a $4.5-million grant to the Town of Coaldale for a new treated reservoir and pump station, a $2.5-million grant to the Town of Didsbury for a new reservoir, and a $2.5-million grant to the Village of Stirling for a potable water pipeline and reservoir upgrades.

 

www.alberta.ca

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