Preparations for a 7.5 million dollar highway project in Sparwood are getting underway.
The District has been planning the long-awaited Middletown Crossing for a number of years, with over five million in funding secured through a joint federal and provincial grant last month.
Mayor Cal McDougall says crews are currently doing preliminary work for the intersection upgrade .
“They are doing some tree removal, they are also moving the power lines to the back of the property south away from the highway. That’s one of the phases that needs to be done,” McDougall says. “That’s what’s happening right now. We’re hoping early this summer we can get started with the actual construction of the intersection.”
McDougall expects the safety improvements to be completed before Fall of next year.
“There’s a lot of work to be done. The tunnel going back over to that side is back on the map,” McDougall says. “If we didn’t do the tunnel at this point in time, the grant would have been reduced by $1 million. It was felt that with the requirement to get some of the services over to that side of the highway anyway, the cost to the community was minimal.”
He says it will improve safety for everyone travelling along Highways 3 and 43, including miners in the Elk Valley.
The project will include construction of a new sidewalk, road widening and an expansion of the municipal fibre optic network.
– Sparwood Mayor Cal McDougall
– Jeff Johnson