Town continues to pressure Province to carry on with 48 St. upgrades
The Town of Stony Plain is ready for another busy construction season; however, the status of the Highway 779
(48 St.) upgrade project – arguably the most important infrastructure project within the community – is not known.
As 48 St. is part of a provincial highway, the responsibility for maintaining and improving it belongs to Alberta Transportation (AT) –a ministry of the Government of Alberta. The Province started the project (Phase I: from the Highway 16A south to the CNR tracks) in 2010 and continued it last year. Last month, the Town learned that the project was not included in the Province’s most recent, tentative three-year plan.
On Mar. 13, 2012, the Town sent a letter to Hon. Ray Danyluk, minister of transportation, expressing its concern about this situation. Although the Minister then advised the Town that Highway 779 upgrades have not been canceled, no specific details or timelines were provided, and the project remains absent from the three-year plan.
Following a discussion with the Minister in late-March, the Town contacted his office via another letter (dated Apr. 13, 2012) and several phone calls, requesting confirmation that the project is still a go for 2012. As there is considerable confusion about this year’s work, the Town proposed to work together with AT to clarify the issues and that the information be communicated to citizens via a joint news release. To date, the Town has received no concrete information from AT.
“Our residents expect good safe infrastructure,” says Dwight Ganske, acting mayor of Stony Plain. “The Town is doing – and will continue to do – everything within its power to ensure that this project is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Concerned citizens have voiced their frustrations, disappointments and concerns to AT and must be commended for their proactive response. There is nothing more effective or powerful than residents getting involved at the grassroots level on issues such as this, particularly in a provincial election year. It is the collective voice of the ‘common people’ that will have the most impact. This is an opportunity to demonstrate great community spirit and civic action.
Residents are encouraged to submit their comments via an online form on the Town’s website (stonyplain.com). The Town will compile and forward all letters submitted through this method to the Province. Citizens can also contact the Minister directly at:
Hon. Minister Ray Danyluk
320 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Updates will be posted on stonyplain.com.