Twin entire Highway 63, say northern communities
With the province promising to twin the northern section of Highway 63 north of Grasslands, Alta., pressure is mounting to twin the southern portion as well.
Ashley St Croix, who runs a website called Twin 63 Now, says the southern part of Highway 63 towards Edmonton can be just as much of a white knuckle ride as the northern portion to Fort McMurray.
"The wide loads and everything they affect the whole stretch of the highways," she said.
"It's definitely important to our community to make sure that we have that entire highway twinned and that entire stretch of road safe for us to drive on to be able to reach hubs like Edmonton where a lot of people travel for medical reasons and to see family."
Between 2006 and 2010, 16 people were killed on the section of highway which connects the busy oilsands region with the provincial capital.
Emergency responders are often stretched, said Charles Newell, reeve of Thorhild County.
"We do have issues with heavy trucks on some of these highways causing emergency response issues."
The province said it's twinning the stretch of Highway 63 from Highway 55 to Fort McMurray because that's been identified as the priority.
But a transportation spokesperson said twinning the rest of the Highway 63 is not being ruled out.
"That will be looked at as part of a broader examination of the whole corridor," said Parker Hogan.
The province will make the decision when the current twinning work is close to completion in 2016.