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Highway construction to begin on Edmonton airport trade corridor

A cargo plane carrying 80,000 pounds of procedure masks, gowns and face shields arrives at Edmonton International Airport Sunday, April 12, 2020 from China. Eric Beck, Global News

An interchange connected to one of Alberta’s busiest highways is set to start construction late this year, and officials anticipate the new connection will bolster business in Leduc and around Edmonton airport.

The corridor, which will connect at Highway 2 and 65 Ave, “will drive economic momentum in Alberta’s growing warehousing and logistics industry by connecting one of the busiest stretches of highway in Alberta with the Edmonton International Airport and key cargo hubs, delivering safer, more efficient connections between the City of Leduc, the airport and area businesses,” according to a news release from the province Wednesday.

It will also help increase exports to international markets, and save millions of hours for the airport’s inbound-outbound and northbound-southbound commercial traffic.

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“These time savings will cut commercial truck freight costs by $211.1 million from 2025-2045,” the province said.

The project includes a new overpass over the QEII highway and on-and-off ramps; intersection and existing ramp improvements; and the completion of Perimeter Road and 65 Ave, west of the highway. It will also add an extra route for STARS emergency ambulance.

The $112-million project will be executed by Graham Construction LP. Costs will be split between the provincial government ($96.4 million) and the City of Leduc ($15.7 million).

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“As Leduc continues to grow, it is more important than ever for us to have reliable and efficient transportation routes that can keep up with demand and business growth. I am thrilled to see our government fulfilling its mandate by supporting this initiative and supporting Alberta-based businesses,” said Brad Rutherford, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont.

Officials expect the project to create nearly 700 jobs and take about three years to finish.

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