Back in October, council set aside $5 million in their 2017 budget towards pre-design. They also asked the province for an additional $10 million to help support the project.
According to Recovery Committee Member Marty Giles, the municipality is still waiting for the funds, roughly six months after their request.
“I don’t know why the government of Alberta wouldn’t be all over this, to actually make it a safer community that’s more resilient.”
Giles notes research done suggests “dangerous goods” travel through the middle of Fort McMurray every six minutes. The highway could be an alternate route for these drivers instead of being near residents.
The $15 million would be used to study the area, determine if they have the right location, discuss with Indigenous groups while conducting geotechnical reports, and environmental assessments.
“Who knows if our spot is the right spot, that’s why we need to start moving on this thing because it’s going to take a number of years.”
In total, the project would cost around $1.5 billion.
“It’s 100 or 200 million a year, budgeted over six to eight years to build it after the study is done, it’s not too much to ask for what we’ve contributed to the province,” added Giles.
Right now, there’s been no commitment from the GOA for any funds for the project.