There is a chance the final stage of reconstruction of Highway 9 that will link Drumheller to Beiseker with new pavement could begin as early as this fall.
Dennis Grace, construction engineer with Alberta Transportation says the Highway 9 tender has been advertised. This is for the 15-kilometre portion from east of Carbon Corner to west of Beiseker. The project is to improve horizontal alignment, widening and resurfacing. It also includes improvements to the Highway 9 and Highway 21 intersection and second stage paving of the 14 kilometre phase west of Horseshoe Canyon and west of Highway 840, at the Rosebud turn off.
According to Grace, the tender was posted on August 24 and closes on September 11.
“Contractors can look at it and put in their tender. On September 11 we’ll open them and award it as soon as possible,” said Grace. “Whether they start this fall is up to the contractor. If the weather is terrible, they might just crush material for next year, or they might start. Really the schedule is his own, he just has to meet the completion date.”
For Mayor Bryce Nimmo this is news that has been a long time coming. He says the announcement is valuable to visitors and residents.
“Right now we are sitting and wondering about the growth of our town and tourism, and we ask why we would have not had that road earlier with the amount of tourism that comes here. I cannot understand why they didn’t upgrade this portion of the highway before anything else,” said Nimmo.
He says it is also a very important link of a transportation corridor, for the logistics industry.
The completion date of the project is October 15, 2010.