Suncor Energy and the province of Alberta recently signed an agreement for the construction and maintenance of a $55 million highway interchange 25 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. Under the agreement, ownership will be transferred to the province after construction has been completed and all quality assurance inspections are passed. The new Highway 63 infrastructure is expected to benefit employees and trades people working at Suncor’s existing and planned operations, as well as other residents and industry workers in the region.
“The new interchange will improve safety for motorists and reduce congestion on Highway 63,” said Kirk Bailey, Suncor’s executive vice president. “But we’re not in the infrastructure business, so it makes sense to have the province own and maintain the interchange.”
Suncor initiated plans for the interchange as a means to improve highway safety during the construction and operation of the company’s new upgrader, which is part of a planned $20.6 billion oil sands expansion. When complete, the interchange will also link Suncor’s base plant on the east side of Highway 63 to the new upgrader, as well as other planned developments on the west side that may occur in the future.
Construction on the project is underway and is expected to be completed by December 2008.