GRANDE PRAIRE, ALTA – The Grande Prairie area is set to see over $2.6 million in key infrastructure investments from the province’s Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP), said Travis Toews in Grande Prairie Friday.

Toews, Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA and finance minister made the announcement at Evergreen Park.

Resources Road, a major arterial road for the city, is tagged to receive $1.7 million under the program.

About $900,000 will be invested in two major bridge culvert projects in the Grande Prairie region and one in the MD of Greenview.

“This money and this initiative will go to creating a safer Resources Road,” said Leanne Beaupre, County of Grande Prairie reeve.

The Resources Road improvements will also benefit the methanol plant planned for south of the city, as improvements are expected to run down through the river valley, said Beaupre.

Resources Road sees more than 3,000 vehicle movements a day; she said that safety is a big concern.

“We just really need to have those types of safe infrastructure available to us,” she said.

As the county works with the province, Beaupre hopes to see shovels in the ground for the project in 2022.

Beaverlodge residents will still have to wait for any further Hwy 43 improvements as far as the twinning and a bypass project.

“We’re already beginning to put together our budget 2022 capital plan, and I’ll continue to ensure the minister transportation knows the importance of that project,” Toews told the News.

In total, the province announced $31.5 million for 48 new projects across Alberta.

The province believes the investment could create up to 260 new jobs.

“These projects are important in supporting municipalities in developing and maintaining key local transportation infrastructure that will promote economic growth and improve travel for residents and industry alike,” said Rajan Sawhney, minister of transportation, at the announcement.

The funding will see the upgrades of bridges, roads and community airports.

Sawhney said the province worked with municipalities to determine at what the highest priorities are in municipalities.

The funding is part of the $103.4 million budget provided over three years from 2021 to 2024, said Sawhney.