Alberta Transportation (AT) has informed the Town the Highway 779 project is scheduled to be extended into the 2021 construction season. The project’s original completion date was set for July 31, 2019 by AT, but the project has encountered a number of issues related to utilities within the CN Rail right-of-way, inclement weather, and poor subgrade conditions. AT estimates over 100 days have been lost as a result of these issues.

Alberta Transportation is reporting that since the beginning of the construction project, there has been an approximate 26 percent increase in the volume of rain in Stony Plain over the previous 10-year average for the months of May through October. To date, a total of 73 days have been lost to weather. Construction crews have further encountered poor subgrade conditions which resulted in delays for redesign, slowed production rates, and increased work and costs for mitigating subgrade conditions.

“Since Alberta Transportation first began the project, there have been a number of unforeseen events that have pushed back project delivery,” says Brett Newstead, Manager of Engineering. “There is still plenty of construction work to be done before the end of the year by Alberta Transportation and their contractor, and we are hoping the weather holds up so as much work as possible can be completed in 2020.”

“This is a massive project and we recognize Alberta Transportation is working within a large scope,” says Mayor William Choy. “It’s taking longer than anyone could expect, and we understand residents are frustrated. We will continue working with Alberta Transportation to see this project through.”

The following work will not be undertaken in 2020 and has been scheduled for 2021:

  • Rehabilitation of any sections of the northbound lanes which could not be completed in 2020. Work will include removal of the existing asphalt, re-compaction of the granular base course, repair of any soft or weak subgrade, replacement of the existing sidewalk and curb and gutters, and repaving
  • Construction of the remaining raised concrete medians up to 49 Avenue
  • Construction of the road widening along the east leg of the 49 Avenue intersection with Highway 779
  • Paving of the final lift of asphalt between 47 Avenue and Willow Park Road North
  • Placement of the permanent, durable pavement lines and markings
  • Completion of the multi-use trail between 49 Avenue and 47 Avenue and through the CN Rail right-of-way
  • Construction of the multi-use trail along Highway 628 between Highway 779 and Willow Way
  • Installation of permanent signage
  • Any outstanding finish grading, topsoil placement, sod placement, or seeding.

AT forecasts the overall project will be 85 to 90 percent complete by the end of 2020. During the winter season, the roadways will be opened to two lanes in each direction throughout the grade widening areas between Willow Park Road North and 47 Avenue. Some of the turning lanes may not be available; however, necessary accommodations will be made at these intersections.

AT and construction crews will continue working on Highway 779 as weather permits. Residents can follow Highway 779 construction updates by visiting the Construction page on the Town’s website. For email updates, online users can subscribe to construction alerts.