Funding paves way to Hilliard’s Bay

Map provided by Big Lakes County shows the many proposed phases of paving gravel roads in the Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park area proposed by the County.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has been granted provincial funding of almost $2.2 million to upgrade part of the main road leading to Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park and nearby Hilliard’s Bay Estates.

Funding of $$2,184,734.25 was awarded by Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors for the project budgeted at $2,912,979 to overlay Township Rd. 752A (Hilliard’s Bay Rd.) from Highway 750 eastward for 6.8 km.

The grant for the paving project was announced in an April 13 letter from Transportation and Economic Corridors Minister Devin Dreeshen.

Funding was designated to overlay the stretch of the road already paved, says Kevin Cymbaluk, BLC director of public works.

Township Rd. 752A will be paved from the highway to a point about 200 m west of Range Rd. 141 that leads to Shaw’s Point Resort.

The project is the first of four phases Big Lakes requests funding to upgrades roads in the area.

Big Lakes has been lobbying the government for more than 10 years to provide funding to pave gravel roads in the area.

Reeve Robert Nygaard says the funding and new pavement are long overdue.

“The County is pleased to be working with the provincial government and moving this portion of the project forward, which will see an improved travelling surface for the community, motorists and users of tourist parks in the area,” Nygaard says.

He adds the balance of the funding required will come from the County’s general transportation reserve.

STIP provides 75 per cent of funding while the County is required to contribute $728,245.

The level of cost-sharing for provincial and municipal contributions for local municipal projects varies based on the project.

Big Lakes accepted tenders for the project until Aug. 10, Cymbaluk says. Council will discuss the project at its regular meeting Sept. 13.

Scheduled to be completed in 2024, the project is within budget, Cymbaluk says.

Big Lakes council has requested funding to pave Township Rd. 752A and Range Rd. 141 for many years, he says.

“Efforts to pave the road have also been supported by Hilliard’s Bay Estates Condominium Association,” Cymbaluk says.

Shaw’s Point Resort has also pleaded council to seek funding to pave Range Rd. 141.

He notes council also plans to again submit applications for STIP funding to pave gravel roads (asphalt stability) in the area by priority phases that include.
-Range Rd. 752A for 4.3 km eastward from where the pavement ends (Phase 2).
-Range Rd. 752A fr 1.4 km leading into Hilliard’s Bay Estates (Phase 3).
-Range Rd. 141 for 1.8 km leading to Shaw’s Point Resort (Phase 4).

Deadline for applications is Nov. 30, he adds.

Proposed projects are reviewed to ensure they meet program criteria.

Projects are then rated on a province-wide competitive basis and evaluated on a wide ranger of criteria including basic need, safety, etc.

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