Last week when Alberta Premier Jason Kenney rolled into Taber, while many had an idea what was to come during the press conference, some still couldn’t believe the news.
When it was finally announced that Highway 3, east of Taber to Burdett would finally be twinned, it was hard to find someone who was not happy with the upcoming project.
Sure, it won’t be done until 2023 but for far too long has that stretch of highway been a single lane. Too many deaths and too many near misses by many who have travelled on that road have happened and it’s about time this project got the green light.
Both the Town of Taber and Municipal District of Taber have held numerous open houses, sent letters to ministers and met at Alberta Urban Municipalities Association meetings discussing when this could finally become a reality. And now it’s finally here after years and years of continuing to push for a change.
As the ag sector continues to be a major force for Alberta’s economy, the addition of further twinned highway is huge for producers in the area. Adding an extra lane really will do wonders for both farmers and residential drivers as anyone who has driven that road before can tell you, there are times where you may be stuck behind a big, slow-moving vehicle with no option to pass for several kilometres.
Premier Kenney highlighted that work would begin immediately in getting the project shovel ready for 2021, which we can all be thankful for because the sooner this gets done, the better. Much like when Highway 3 west of Taber was being upgraded, travellers going east during construction will need to be patient because keeping those workers safe throughout the project’s life is paramount.
While there has been plenty to gripe about with the UCP government since taking over, southern Albertans should have very little to complain about with this project.
And the UCP government shouldn’t get all of the credit here either.
Both municipalities in Taber deserve credit for continuing to push and the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association, which both the town and M.D. are a part of, should get the bulk of the props for all of the work they have done over the past years. Bill Chapman, the president of the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association, was in attendance at the press conference and both Kenney and Minister of Transportation Ric McIver gave him props for the advocacy work he put in.
So while 2020 hasn’t brought a lot of good news, especially since we’ve been in a global pandemic for months now, this is something southern Albertans can be happy about for quite some time.