Alberta Highway 63, Canada
Alberta Highway 63 is a north-south highway in northern Alberta, Canada. It begins at an intersection of Highway 28, approximately 6km (3.7 miles) south-west of Radway, and passes through Boyle and Fort McMurray, ending 16km (9.9 miles) north of its second crossing of the Athabasca River near Fort MacKay.
The 443km highway is operated and maintained by the Transport Authority of Alberta. A number of sections of the highway have been expanded to four lanes since 2002.
A 36km section on the highway was twinned and opened in October 2012. The $84m project was completed approximately nine months ahead of schedule. A $778m twinning project on 188km section of the highway began in late-2012 and was completed in May 2016.
Project details and history of Highway 63 twinning and improvements
The growth of the oil-sands development in the Wood Buffalo region has resulted in a higher than expected growth in traffic on Highway 63. Heavy trucks carrying equipment for the oil-sands projects occupy the existing two traffic lanes, which causes traffic delays.
Most of the highway is two-lane undivided road, except the 55km section from south of its intersection with Highway 881 through Fort McMurray to south of Fort MacKay. Further, being the only all-weather road from Fort McMurray, Highway 63 has become a crucial link.
The provincial government announced in February 2006 the expansion of Highway 63 from two-lane undivided road to four-lane divided highway starting from Atmore, which is located just south of Fort McMurray. The twinning work began in 2006 and was estimated to take at least five years to complete. Meanwhile, many improvement projects were completed to enhance the operation of the highway.
Edmonton Ring Road, also referred to as Anthony Henday Drive (named after the first explorer of northwest Canada), is an under-construction highway encircling the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The 78km road is scheduled for completion by autumn 2016.
A $155m twinning project began on a 45km highway section between Fort McMurray and north of Mildred Lake in 2002, and was completed in 2008. A $53m twinning project was completed between 2006 and 2008 on a 16km section between Fort McMurray and south of Highway 881.
Two new interchanges at Thickwood Boulevard and Confederation Way were completed between 2008 and 2012 at a cost of $220m. An $84m twinning project of the highway to the north of Wandering River started in 2009 and was completed in 2012.
A twinning project on a 188km two-lane section of highway between Grassland and Fort McMurray started in late-2012. The $778m project was completed in May 2016.
Bridge constructions on Alberta Highway 63
A new $127m five-lane bridge over the Athabasca River was completed between 2008 and 2011 on Highway 63.
A reconstruction project of Steinhauer Bridge over the Athabasca River started in 2011. The $51.7m project was completed in 2012. Another reconstruction project of Grant MacEwan Bridge over the Athabasca River started in 2011. The $23.3m project was opened to public in December 2013, seven months ahead of schedule.
Contractors involved with the Alberta Highway 63 expansion and improvements
Prairie Roadbuilders were the contractors for the 36km twinning north of Wandering River. Ledcor, a construction company was also involved in the 36km tuning project.
Flatiron Construction was the contractor for the construction of Grant MacEwan Bridge over the Athabasca River.
South Rock was the construction contractor for the two new interchanges at Thickwood Boulevard and Confederation Way. Carmacks was awarded the contract for the widening of the last section of Highway 63.