Still no commitment for Highway 63 twinning

EDMONTON, AB (June 29, 2012): The PC government continues to put off the much-needed twinning of Highway 63 to Fort McMurray to the peril of the 4,200 motorists that use it each day, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

After delivering a much-anticipated report into improving safety on Highway 63, the PCs still have no concrete timelines or financial commitments for finally twinning the often dangerous highway, Wildrose Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills MLA Shayne Saskiw said.

The PCs first announced Highway 63 would be twinned in 2006 and have since re-announced their intentions several times. Just 16 kilometers along the stretch from Edmonton to Fort McMurray has been twinned to date.

“Nothing has changed with this government. More talk and no action,” Saskiw said. “We’ve known about the dangers on Highway 63 for years. Everybody knows it needs to be twinned. The government knew six years ago. Yet here we are today, still with no clear timeline on when it will be done. It’s unacceptable.”

Wildrose Transportation Critic Drew Barnes said the ongoing Highway 63 twinning delay is indicative of the PC government’s inability to prioritize spending on key projects.

“This government has wasted billions on pet projects while high-priority items like twinning Highway 63 have fallen by the wayside,” Barnes said.  “If this government had its priorities straight, we wouldn’t be here – in 2012 – still waiting for this highway to be twinned.”

Wildrose believes infrastructure dollars should be directed
to where they are most needed based on a transparent process using objective
criteria.