WHEREAS Alberta continues to experience tremendous growth and a strong economy which requires constant improvement to the provincial infrastructure system; and
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta?s Rural Development Strategy vision for rural Alberta is “vibrant and sustainable communities where rural and urban families, individuals, organizations, businesses and governments are vital contributors to the growth, prosperity and quality of life of Albertans”; and
WHEREAS the provincial highways infrastructure system is vital for the transportation of goods and services as well as accessing recreational destinations throughout the rural communities which will foster further rural economic growth; and
WHEREAS in accordance with Alberta Transportation there is approximately 3,900 kilometers of unpaved provincial highways; and
WHEREAS in accordance with Alberta Transportation it would require total of approximately $7.8 billion to pave all of the unpaved provincial highways; and
WHEREAS in accordance with Alberta Transportation the Province invest approximately 300 ? 350 millions dollars annually to rehabilitate existing pavement of provincial highways; and
WHEREAS in the past the provincial government assisted local municipalities with paving of secondary highways by virtue of the Secondary Highway Assistance Program; and
WHEREAS some provincial highways awaiting to be paved have started to deteriorate; and
WHEREAS the local residents and the traveling general public utilize these unpaved provincial highways are subject to health and safety issues due to dust generated by traffic;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to contribute $500 million annually to a province-wide paving fund in order to address the unpaved provincial highways.
Resolution 3-07F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties encourage the Government of Alberta to increase the Provincial Highway Construction and Rehabilitation base budgets, and encourage the Government of Alberta to make the ongoing commitment to ensure that this essential network of roads is properly maintained and upgraded.
As of 2008, there are approximately 3,742 kilometres of unpaved provincial highways. Of this, 1,737 kilometres serve arterial and collector road functions, and the remaining 2,005 kilometres serve as a local road function. Approximately 98 per cent of the local class roads have traffic volumes ranging from 80 to 300 Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT). About 142 kilometres of unpaved roads are in between paved sections (Gap). Most of the unpaved highways would need upgrading before paving. The approximate cost of upgrading and paving to a full paving stage is $2 million/kilometre.
Within the constraints of budgets, Alberta Transportation prioritizes all provincial highway needs and has delivered unprecedented construction and rehabilitation programs over the last three years worth approximately $3 billion, not including ring roads.
Alberta Transportation continuously prioritizes needs and allocates expenditures to address those needs. This process provides the best value for Albertans.
While Alberta Transportation has indicated that prioritizing needs has been their strategy in allocating funding for road infrastructure, there has never been indications that they will pursue the intent of our resolution. Although we understand there are existing budgetary constraints, the association will continue to advocate for the creation of a province-wide paving fund for unpaved provincial highways.