Highway 749 identified for potential upgrade

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County plans to pound the pavement to lobby the provincial government to upgrade Highway 749 north of High Prairie.
At its regular meeting Oct. 12, council approved a briefing document to press the government to improve the highway that is a hazard in many places.
“Big Lakes County council seeks support from the transportation minister for pavement rehabilitation on Highway 749 north of High Prairie to be added to the ministry’s three-year construction program,” the document cites.
Council wants Alberta Transportation to pave highway north of Highway 2 (53 Ave.) sooner than later.
“This is not our road, it’s Transportation’s,” said Vic Abel, director of public works.
Highway 749 south of Highway 2 was repaved and upgraded in 2021, he noted.
The briefing details the deterioration and danger of the road surface.
“Pavement rehabilitation is needed as the highway suffers from heaving, wheel rutting, longitudinal and transverse cracking, alligator cracking, potholes and dips that need addressing, the document states.
“The longer the situation remains unaddressed, the higher risk of damage to vehicles and accidents.”
Highway 749 is a route for industry and heavy-truck traffic and also a thoroughfare for traffic accessing communities in the region.
Spot repairs have been completed in recent years.
“However, the road is still in need of repair and overlay,” the document says.
“Wheel rutting is not very deep but is showing up on both northbound and southbound lanes with a few locations beginning to alligator crack.”
Longitudinal cracking is occurring mainly in the wheel ruts on the shoulder sides on both southbound and northbound lanes.
Transverse cracking is occurring an average of every 10 cm, which causes heaving, the document describes.
Another highway in the region is in the plans for an upgrade. Work to upgrade and repave Highway 747 is scheduled for summer 2023, Abel noted.

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