$83 million QE II interchange in Airdrie to reduce commuter congestion: province

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It’ll include a bridge over the QE II and ramps to and from 40 Ave.

The province is earmarking $21.1 million to the project with Airdrie taxpayers picking up the remaining $62 million.

It’s expected to directly or indirectly create 300 jobs in a province where employment’s been bludgeoned by low energy prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenney said the project is part of a $10 billion infrastructure investment strategy “that’s created 15,000 good-paying construction jobs this year alone and the same number next year when they’re desperately needed.”

“We are on the road to recovery, though there are many difficult months ahead.”

That commitment’s been increased by 30 per cent this year to ensure shovel-ready jobs like the Airdrie interchange get off the ground, said Kenney.

Critics including the opposition NDP say the UCP government’s job-creation strategy that’s included phased-in corporate tax cuts have failed miserably to create jobs, pointing to major energy firms announcing mass layoffs.

And they say the province’s decisions have led to job losses in education and health care have only worsened the situation.

Alberta’s unemployment rate in September was 11.7 per cent compared to 9 per cent nationally.

But Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown, who presides over Alberta’s fifth-largest city with a population of more than 70,000, said the interchange project years in the making will not only create jobs but provide infrastructure with a wide-ranging impact.

“This is not just for Airdrie, but Airdrie and the area,” he said.

“We’ve been advocating for this bridge for more than a decade.”

BKaufmann@postmedia.com

on Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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