Province declines to fund airport tunnel
The federal and Alberta governments announced they're spending $144 million on infrastructure, but no funding is allocated for a tunnel to the Calgary airport.
The money, announced on Thursday, will be spent on 33 projects across the province. Most are road improvements, including $15 million to upgrade Calgary's Deerfoot Trail between the Ivor Strong Bridge and 17th Avenue.
The city has been pushing to build a tunnel under a new airport runway. Construction of the runway will close Barlow Trail north of McKnight Boulevard, blocking off businesses and residents.
The proposed tunnel, estimated to cost $287 million, would create an east-west artery across the city's northeast.
The City of Calgary and the Calgary Airport Authority announced in December they would cover $90 million, but were counting on the provincial and federal governments to pony up the remainder of the cost.
Ottawa has turned down the request, while the Alberta government has been cool to the idea of giving the city more money when it has already received $460 million in 2009 in provincial infrastructure grants.
"We have to pretty well stick to our budgets also. We are working on a new budget right now but really, they have to choose their priorities out of the grant money they get," said Alberta Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette.
Ouellette said the airport tunnel project doesn't meet the criteria for the funding announced on Thursday. Projects that qualified had to be completed by March 31.
Alberta infrastructure projects
- Highway 2, Deerfoot Trail: Ivor Strong Bridge to south of 17th Avenue (north and southbound lanes).
- Highway 1: Bridge rehabilitation over eastbound lanes, as well as westbound lanes of Gershaw Drive Interchange in Medicine Hat.
- West of Tofield: Constructing 5.7 kilometres of passing lanes on Highway 14:06, west of Tofield.
- Loon River, north of 23rd Baseline: Upgrading a 20.6-kilometre section of currently graveled provincial Highway 88:08 to first stage pavement.
- Bear River, south of Fort Vermilion: 16.9 kilometres of final asphalt pavement on Highway 88, Bear River to south of Fort Vermilion.
- West of Milo to Milo: Grade-widening and pavement overlay of 9.1 kilometres of Highway 542:02.
- Bridge on Highway 36 over Amisk River near Kikino: Rehabilitation to the concrete deck overlay and partial curb and pier repairs.
- Bridge on Highway 892 over Beaver River near Ardmore: Rehabilitation to the concrete deck overlay and partial curb and pier repairs.
- South of Highway 53 to Highway 53: Constructing 6.5 kilometres of climbing/passing lanes on Highway 22:24.
- North of Highway 16 to south of Berland River: Construction of 11.2 kilometres of climbing lanes on Highway 40:30.
- Pillsworth Road (Range Road 115): Reconstruction of 13 kilometres of roadway from Highway 681 south.
- Westview Crescent Loop infrastructure replacement (Town of Bowden): Full replacement of all underground infrastructure on Westview Crescent Loop which includes 18th Avenue, 23rd Street, Howard Crescent, and 21st Street.
- Highway 9: Two kilometres of pavement overlay on Highway 9, south of Highway 10 to Highway 10.
- Highway 12: Concrete overlay on overpass on Highway 12 at Alix.
- Highway 21: Replacement of asphalt concrete pavement and deck membrane repairs on Battle River bridge near Ervick.
- Highway 22: Full depth reclamation and overlay on Highway 22:24, Highway 11 to Highway 53.
- Highway 41: Concrete deck overlay on the North Saskatchewan River Bridge on Highway 41, four kilometres south of Elk Point.
- Highway 43: 41.3 km of pavement overlay on Highway 43, north of Town of Fox Creek to east of Highway 947 (selective westbound lane).
- Highway 58: Highway improvements for about 15 kilometres, from south of Negus River to west of High Level.
- Highway 62: Pavement rehabilitation, north of U.S. border to south of Jensen Reservoir.
- Highway 88: 16 south of Tall Cree Indian Reserve to south of Jackpine Creek, and 16 south of Jackpine Creek to Bear River.
- Highway 575: 18.8 kilometres of pavement overlay on Highway 575, east of Highway 836 to Town of Drumheller.
- Highway 581: Highway improvements east of Highway 2 to Highway 791.
- Highway 616: Highway improvements from County Boundary to Highway 21.
- Highway 661: 10 kilometres of pavement overlay on Highway 661, west of Highway 63 to Highway 831.
- Highway 682: Asphalt deck replacement on Hines Creek Bridge on Highway 682, 18 kilometres west of Fairview.
- Highway 831: 7.9 kilometres of pavement overlay on Highway 831, south of Waskatenau to Waskatenau.
- Highway 836: Highway improvements from Highway 575 to Highway 27.
- Highway 837: Highway improvements from Highway 575 to Highway 838.
- Highway 855: 16.4 km of pavement overlay on Highway 855, Highway 28 to north of Town of Smoky Lake.
- Highway 879: Maintenance, including bearing repairs and deck joints, on South Saskatchewan River Bridge on Highway 879, eight kilometres northwest of Bow Island.
Source: Government of Alberta