South Peace News
A major project to upgrade a road from Kinuso south to House Mountain could begin in the coming months.
Big Lakes County confirmed the project details after the contract was awarded by council Aug. 10 to Martushev Logging Ltd. of Plamondon, Alta.
Their lowest bid from seven tenders received was $5,773,795.48.
“We want to open the area up for the energy and forest industries,” Reeve Ken Matthews says.
“The road has always been there used as a winter road, but this will make it an all-season road.”
Just under 24 km long, the gravel road has been a project of the county when the plan was initiated by a previous council about six years ago, says Matthews.
“We expect the project will start this winter,” says Vic Abel, county director of public works.
About 17 km of the road currently has no gravel surface while the rest is roughly a bush road, he says.
The one-lane road will be widened to two lanes.
Under the tender, the contractor is required to complete clearing and timber salvage, grading, shoulder pull, subgrade preparation, gravel surfacing and other work.
Funding for the project will be shared equally by the county, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.
Provincial funding from the Small Communities Fund was announced one year ago.
“I am pleased to advise you that your project, House Mountain connector road and bridge construction, has been prioritized as an eligible project under the Small Communities Fund,” states a letter from Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Deron Bilous.
At that time, the cost of the project was estimated at $12 million.
Under the funding agreement, the project is required to be completed by Aug. 31, 2017.