Council Asking Province To Rehabilitate Highway 63, Advocating For Support For YMM Airport During COVID-19 Pandemic

A request is being sent to the provincial government to rehabilitate Highway 63.

Wood Buffalo council held a virtual meeting on Tuesday where they approved having Mayor Don Scott send a letter to Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation, asking for work to be done on the road.

The GoA announced last week they were allocating $1.9 billion for infrastructure projects in an attempt to create jobs.

“Getting it in tiptop shape – this is the time to do it, especially when the provincial government is offering money for these types of projects,” said Scott. “Let’s take advantage and make sure our region is as good as it can be.”

Councillor Krista Balsom brought forward the motion.

She says she kept it vague so administration could work with the GoA in highlighting the biggest areas of need.

Two of the biggest complaints are the lack of lighting, especially between downtown and the Confederation Way Interchange, and the number of potholes.

“We hear continually from residents about the conditions on Highway 63,” added Balsom. “You can see it for yourself everyday if you drive on the roads, so to me this is a no brainer.”

According to the municipality, the province was in talks in early 2019 to fix up the road. However, this was halted after the provincial election and subsequent budget.

“It is a priority for the community and we want to have our roads in good working condition,” said Councillor Mike Allen.

YMM Airport

The letter to Minister McIver isn’t the only one being sent, as council is supporting an effort to help the Fort McMurray International Airport.

The Fort McMurray Airport Authority had asked that the municipality advocate to the federal and provincial governments to support airports during the pandemic.

Only a select few are currently taking in international flights while domestic travel has dwindled over the past few weeks.

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