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Saskatchewan premier promises to complete all-weather road connecting La Loche, Fort McMurray

The Saskatchewan government commits to complete an all-weather road from La Loche to Fort McMurray with construction expected to be complete by the end of 2023. File / Global News

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced that the province will complete an all-weather road from La Loche to Fort McMurray.

The road has nine remaining kilometres before completion, but in order to met that goal, Moe wrote a letter to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney asking that his government make a similar commitment to complete the road on the Alberta side.

Read more: Location chosen for new elementary school in La Loche, Sask.

Premier Moe stated this is another example that the province is making a strong commitment to the north.

“An all-weather road between these two northern communities will give employers access to a valuable workforce in northern Saskatchewan, while providing gainful employment and economic development opportunities for the people and communities of this region,” Moe stated in a release.

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“We recognize the need for our governments to work together on completing this project to ensure people in the north benefit from this vital economic and transportation link.”

The province stated the road was originally announced as a project to commemorate the two province’s centennials in 2005, in which Saskatchewan broke ground on Highway 956, its portion of the project, in 2007 and completed 44 of the total 53 kilometres in 2008.

“There is real economic optimism in our northern communities and the transportation system is a vital part of that from resources associated with mining, forestry, tourism, fishing and other employment and development opportunities,” stated Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw.

Read more: Saskatchewan’s Official Opposition calls on provincial government to improve northern highways

La Loche Mayor Georgina Jolibois said an all-season road is much needed by residents who commute in both directions. Jolibois said this project has been a request from La Loche and the surrounding communities for the past four decades.

“The community residents have been asking for this and it has not been done,” she said. “Unless we see a clear plan from Alberta’s side, people will believe. For now, this is a wish for us.”

Alberta has not yet begun construction of its portion of the road.

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The Saskatchewan government stated that pre-construction work on the remaining nine kilometres near Garson Lake to the Alberta border will begin this year, with construction expected to be complete by the end of 2023.

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La Loche still needs help healing, says Mayor Georgina Jolibois – Jan 22, 2021

 

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