Construction on a new interchange along the Queen Elizabeth II Highway south of Edmonton is expected to begin this summer and create nearly 500 jobs.
The new interchange at 65 Avenue in Leduc will include an overpass over the QEII, new on and off ramps, as well as other area intersection and road improvements.
“This is a really great day for the entire Edmonton-region economy,” Premier Jason Kenney said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.
The government of Alberta committed approximately $80 million to the $96-million project, which also includes about $12.5 million in funding from the City of Leduc.
The province said about 50,000 vehicles use this stretch of highway on a daily basis, with about 13 per cent of that traffic being commercial and industrial.
Not only will the overpass improve access to Leduc, it will provide easier access to the airport and area retail. The premier said it will also provide important access for commercial vehicles needing access to the cargo operations at the Edmonton International Airport.
“The city of Leduc, the international airport and the capital region will be better prepared for the logistics as this becomes a major global hub for cargo and passengers for Alberta,” Kenney said.
“The QEII is the busiest stretch of highway in Alberta and a critical economic and trade corridor,” Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney said in a news release.
“The Edmonton International Airport is growing as a significant cargo hub. This project supports hundreds of jobs while providing carriers, commuters and consumers safer and more efficient access to the area.”
The $96-million cost of the project includes a little more than $5 million already spent on engineering, design and land acquisition.
The province said construction is expected to take three years and create about 470 jobs.
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