Wednesday, June 26, 2013

TransCanada reopens to public traffic

Government of Alberta press release

Travellers can now access two lanes of the TransCanada Highway as part of an interim solution to open this national highway and provide residents with access in and out of the area.

One lane will be open on both the east and westbound sides of the highway, where gaping holes and rushing flood water existed one week ago. Speed limits will be reduced to 60 kilometres per hour in the area.

“With a lot of muscle and an unexpected boost from quickly receding waters, we were able to get this interim solution in place for local residents, Albertans and Canadians,” said Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation.

“While this is the first step, we are in it for the long haul,” added the Minister. “Albertans are facing a number of challenges from getting into their homes to rebuilding their roads to re-establishing their communities. We recognize this is a long journey that we will take together.”

“From the beginning, we have consulted with the RCMP, Solicitor General, road contractors, Parks Canada, and Banff and Canmore in keeping area traffic to a manageable level until the infrastructure was ready,” said Kyle Fawcett, Associate Minister of Regional Recovery and Reconstruction. “Government and our many partners have been working together tirelessly to provide the support and services that impacted Albertans need and to begin rebuilding Alberta.”

Alberta Transportation engineers, other consultants and the maintenance contractor, Volker Stevin, have consulted on an ongoing basis with the towns of Canmore and Banff, and Parks Canada, working as safely and as quickly as possible to get this important section of the national transportation corridor open.

There is still much work to do throughout Southern Alberta and the Redford Government is committed to supporting this recovery effort. Alberta Transportation engineers, inspectors and contractors will inspect every bridge in the flood zone - more than 300 - and all damaged sections of road and embankments for slope stability. The department will then set priorities based on national transportation networks, provincial corridors and critical local roads.

Drivers should use caution. Speed limits are reduced in all construction zones. Speed fines double when workers are in the area.

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