By Ian Croft
With both the twinning of Highway 3 between Taber and Burdett beginning in the spring, and the increase demand for resources Alberta can provide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, support for the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association has continued to grow within southern Alberta. The association is working to get the entirety of Highway 3 twinned going from Medicine Hat all the way to British Columbia. Alongside the support the association has received from private interest members and stakeholder groups, the association has also received recent help from the Government of Alberta.
“2020 was a challenging year, but one of the bright points was the recognition by the Government of Alberta investing in Highway 3 is a smart choice, both in terms of short and-long-term economic development for our region, but also in terms of lives saved and increased safety,” said Chairperson Bill Chapman, in a media release. “We are excited for shovels to hit the ground this spring on the Taber to Burdett section.”
With the twinning of Highway 3, many economic opportunities will be able to take full effect. Along with this, Highway 3 will be able to function as a crucial pathway and supply chain to allow products to more easily flow in and out of southern Alberta.
“There’s been a lot of shifting of supply chains, and that has meant an increased demand for agri-food products from our region, the province has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into new and upgraded irrigation systems and there’s a hungry world out there that needs the food we grow,” said Peter Casurella, executive director of SouthGrow Regional Initiative, in a media release.
“All of this is going to mean more and more trucks on the road trying to get Albertan products to market, and Highway 3 is going to remain a bottleneck to growth until it’s done.”
Finally, Victoria Chester, director of advancement with the Highway 3 Twinning Association, commented on how every chamber of commerce in the past two years have banded together to see Highway 3 twinned. “The association used to be a collection of municipalities and economic developers trying to get things done, but over the past two years we’ve had all of the chambers of commerce along Highway 3 join us, and a long list of private businesses for whom Highway 3 is a critical pipeline for moving their goods and services,” said Chester. “Highway 3 is so much more than asphalt, it’s an artery that supports hundreds of businesses and thousands of families, and widening it multiplies the benefits it already brings. Our members see that and keep supporting our vision.”
After the section of Highway 3 has been twinned between Taber and Burdett, the association plans to continue advocating the twinning of Highway 3 until the entire corridor is complete. If you are interested in joining the effort to see Highway 3 fully twinned, you can support the association by either signing their petition at http://www.twin3.ca or have your business officially join the association.