The Alberta government has earmarked $35 million for rural road and bridge upgrades and maintenance in 2017-18.
Such funding, called the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP), has not been available for new projects over the past three years.
The government said today’s announcement constitutes new funding for next year and will be available to “smaller towns, municipal districts and counties.”
Brian Mason, minister of transportation and infrastructure, said in a news release that the funding restoration will allow needed road and bridge repair and also create jobs for construction and engineering firms.
About 200 jobs are expected to be created through this funding.
Al Kemmere, president of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, said in the same news release that the funds are welcome and needed. He called it “a good first step in getting our infrastructure deficit in hand. AAMDC rural municipal members manage the majority of Alberta’s roads (77 percent), most of the resource roads and 61 percent of the bridges in our province.”
Under STIP, $2 million has been allocated for community airport projects, $21 million for bridges on local roads, $7 million for resource roads and $5 million for local municipal initiatives.
The funding is cost-shared between government and municipalities and requires specific applications by those municipalities. Applications are then reviewed on a competitive basis province-wide.
Applications for STIP must be made by Feb. 3 for the 2017-18 year.