By J.W. Schnarr
The provincial government should do more to further the goal of twinning the Highway 3 corridor from the B.C. border to Medicine Hat.
That was the message from the Municipal District of Taber council during their regular meeting on Sept. 9, when they addressed a letter from former Premier Dave Hancock.
Reeve Brian Brewin said it was important to keep reminding politicians at the provincial level of the importance of the project to residents across southern Alberta.
However, he understood the complications caused with the appointment of a new premier and cabinet.
“I think we’re going to try to lobby as much (as we can),” said Brewin.
“With a new premier, it kind of starts over again.”
In a letter addressed to Brewin and Deputy Reeve Dwight Tolton, Hancock said Alberta Transportation was working toward completion of functional planning studies for the possibility of twinning Highway 3.
Highway 3 is part of the national highway system and has been identified as a future freeway, which would make the minimum speed limit 80 kilometres per hour. As the highway bisects many towns and two cities, often with a speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour, much consideration must go in to how this future freeway will look.
In the past, Highway 3 committee meetings have revealed a willingness for some communities to entertain the idea of the highway eventually bypassing their towns altogether.
“The part I liked was that the highway is 80 kilometres per hour, minimum,” said Tolton. “So they’ve got to make some decisions about what they’re going to do with these communities.”
“This 50 kilometre (speed limit) on the highway is a trap,” he added.
Brewin said support for twinning Highway 3 has been growing as the issue becomes more well-known.
“We’ve got the City of Lethbridge and we’ve got the City of Medicine Hat, and probably every town in between,” he said.
“We recognize it can’t be done overnight.”
Brewin said more work will still need to be done, though the letter from the former premier is a step in the right direction.
“I think it’s promising,” said Brewin.
“It certainly shows they are interested (at the provincial level). We just have to continue with the lobbying.”