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Potato Growers of Alberta support the twinning of Highway 3

Posted on June 17, 2020 by Taber Times

The Highway 3 Twinning Development Association announced the Potato Growers of Alberta have joined those supporting twinning Highway 3.

“Both associations share many of the same needs in transportation, primarily safer and more efficient highways for the movement of goods and services across our province. Highway 3 from Medicine Hat to the BC border is a critical pipeline for moving an increasing number of commodities to processors and the conduit for transporting the final products to market. Starting construction now will provide a greater than three to one return on investment and stimulate critically needed jobs,” said H3TDA president, Bill Chapman.

The potato industry in Alberta provides over $1 billion into the AB economy every year. There are five major processing plants, several fresh packing houses and a dehydration plant in Alberta with four plants being along the Highway 3 corridor and the other one in Calgary. Every potato that feeds these plants at one time or another must travel some portion of Highway 3. During the course of a year this equates to over 3.5 million tons of potatoes travelling the Highway 3 corridor as seed, raw processing (fry and chip) and finished product.

“The Potato Growers of Alberta is a proud member of the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association because we feel that this corridor is the lifeline of our industry. Without this highway, none of our value added industry would be here in southern Alberta.The thousands of trucks that move our product, as part of the food supply chain, need a safe environment to operate in, not only for our industry but for the safety of the general public that also use this highway on a daily basis,” said PGA Executive Director, Terence Hochstein.

Additional reasons to maintain momentum towards twinning include: -Engineering and Road Construction companies are quiet now, equating in a competitive market that will provide for potentially lower costs to twin, while also creating jobs/getting road construction trades back to work.

-New or expanded 2019/2020 investments that significantly increase trucking on Highway 3 single lanes include the Purple Springs Fertilizer Plant, Lundbreck Mining, Foremost Wind Turbine Staging Facility, and Medicine Hat agri-food to name a few. Anticipated expansion and improved crop density will stimulate more food processing developments.

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