The city’s long awaited provincial payback for Ray Gibbon Drive has arrived to the tune of $14 million.
Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette announced the first round of funding on Tuesday. The money will reimburse the City of St. Albert for costs incurred to upgrade the first two stages of Ray Gibbon Drive to provincial standards and purchase additional road right-of-way for a future provincial freeway.
“This is about investing in our future highway network and protecting the right-of-way for future growth,” Ouellette said in a press release. “During the construction of Ray Gibbon Drive, the province committed to reimbursing the City of St. Albert for these added costs and the province is following through on that commitment.”
The funding arrangement dates back a deal brokered in 2009 when Ouellette committed to reimbursing the city $45.4 million for Ray Gibbon Drive.
Mayor Nolan Crouse was pleased the province made good on the deal.
“This roadway is a major connection for many motorists travelling to and from St. Albert, providing both residential and economic development benefits,” he said in a release. “We are extremely pleased to receive this funding as part of approximately one-third of the total commitment toward ongoing development for what will eventually be an important roadway connecting to the north.
The city has yet to start construction on stage three from Giroux Road to Villeneuve Road, expected to cost $47 million. The province has agreed to pay for $31 million, “after construction is completed and funding becomes available,” the release states.