After 15 years it may be the end of the road for Highway 956
- EFN Staff
On Monday, Premier Scott Moe announced the remaining nine kilometres of the road on the Saskatchewan side from La Loche to Fort McMurray will commence sometime this year.
No construction has occurred on the Alberta side as of yet, but Moe sent a letter to Premier Jason Kenney urging him to make a similar construction commitment. In the letter, he outlined the economic benefits for everyone. According to the letter, the two premiers already had a discussion about the project on December 9, but no other details were shared.
The road was originally announced as a project to commemorate the two provinces' centennials in 2005. Saskatchewan broke ground on Highway 956, its portion of the project, in 2007 and completed 44 of the total 53 kilometres in 2008. It was a deal agreed on by former Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert and former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein.
"An all-weather road between these two northern communities will give employers access to a valuable workforce in northern Saskatchewan, while providing gainful employment and economic development opportunities for the people and communities of this region," Moe said in a news release. "We recognize the need for our governments to work together on completing this project to ensure people in the north benefit from this vital economic and transportation link."
Pre-construction work on the remaining nine kilometres near Garson Lake to the Alberta border will begin this year, with construction expected to be complete by the end of 2023.
"There is real economic optimism in our northern communities and the transportation system is a vital part of that from resources associated with mining, forestry, tourism, fishing and other employment and development opportunities," Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw said in the same news release.
Check back for updates.