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Preparing for future growth in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is important. This includes planning and setting policies about our roads, rails and pipelines (also referred to as linear infrastructure).
Transportation Planning and Studies
As part of phase two of the overall Eco-Industrial Master Plan for the region, a Transportation Analysis and Needs Study began in late 2009. The study was undertaken as a proactive move to anticipate and alleviate traffic congestion in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland resulting from future developments. A traffic flow analysis determined where traffic congestion would occur, helped identify bottle necks in the transportation infrastructure, and provided recommendations for improvements. The study also examined alternatives to single car traffic, especially during construction peaks at operations where staffing can exceed 5,000 people.
In 2011, the final report and recommendations were released, which incorporated feedback from two public open houses held in Fort Saskatchewan and Partridge Hill Hall in Strathcona County. Key recommendations include bussing construction workers from predetermined park and ride locations to industrial facilities. Additional recommendations focus on infrastructure improvements to specific highways and intersections in and around the Heartland region. The study’s recommendations compliment other initiatives to form an important part of the overall transportation plan for the region.
In 2012, the Capital Region Board completed an Integrated Regional Transportation System Study to act as a template for modernization of the transportation network in the entire Capital Region, including the Heartland.
In 2013, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association undertook a review of the existing transportation network. This will help identify and prioritize improvements to meet the growing need for the movement of people as well as heavy haul corridors in the region. It includes the need for a secondary bridge to the south of the City of Fort Saskatchewan as well as improvement to the interchanges in Sturgeon County. Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association continues to work with the Government of Alberta to ensure the region’s transportation needs are recognized and included into the government’s three year capital plan.
Specialized Transportation Routes
Transporting products and materials throughout the Heartland sometimes results in high, wide, or heavy loads as well as loads containing dangerous goods. For this reason, special procedures and specific routes, such as the high load corridor, are established by the Government of Alberta to accommodate the transportation of oversize or dangerous products. The standards and procedures are enforced by designated inspectors with the assistance of agencies such as the RCMP, municipal police, and transport officers. More details about the transportation of goods throughout the province are available through Alberta Transportation, including details on applications and oversize/overweight permits.
Pipelines are proven to be a safe and efficient method of transporting product from one location to another. The Heartland has one of the highest densities of pipelines in Canada as companies throughout the region use pipelines to transport feedstocks and finished products in, around, and beyond the Heartland. The increasing trend of transporting product via pipeline will likely continue as new facilities and terminals are built.
In order to ensure new pipelines are constructed in a safe and coordinated fashion, a “linear infrastructure corridor” evaluation was completed. This study identified key corridors that should be set aside for future pipeline development. Doing so assists with orderly development and helps reduce and limit disruptions caused by pipelines to a designated area. Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association is currently working with the Government of Alberta and the newly formed Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to determine the best options for implementing these recommendations.
Initiatives and Progress for 2016
- A review and prioritization of transportation infrastructure needs was conducted in 2013. The recommendations were provided to the Minister of Transportation. Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association continues to work with the Government of Alberta to ensure the region’s transportation needs are recognized and included into the government’s three year capital plan.
- Specific improvements to be made over the next few years will include the following: improvements to the intersection of 15-37-825; new traffic light on highway 643, 28A, 15 and 37.
To obtain further information on a variety of topics relating to traffic, please contact:
CN Police Emergency: 1.800.465.9239
CP Police Emergency: 1.800.716.9132