For over a decade, Cancom has campaigned steadily for the development of improved infrastructure in the Edmonton International Corridor. This area of massive growth needs a framework that matches growth in the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors. From streetlights, to public works projects, right up to major infrastructure, we’ve been promoting progress and helping make plans a reality. So, whenever a major announcement comes up in the region, the Cancom team gets excited! This week, we had one of the biggest announcements yet: A brand-new interchange at 65thAve over the QEII, which the province is pouring $33M into.
The implications of this project are enormous for everyone involved in the area. From Edmonton International Airport users, to new and bustling businesses in the area, to international investors, to Edmontonians seeking work, everyone is going to benefit. Not only will the interchange cut down on commute times for worker and improve delivery times for goods coming from the region – it will also create a major international surge in investments – a staggering $600M, actually.
Opening Up New Investment Opportunities
The new 65th Ave interchange is expected open the Edmonton International Corridor up to $600M in additional investment in the region. This huge influx will help to further expand the region for even greater prosperity and success for our local businesses.
Opening up more traffic to the area achieves several things investors want to see:
Better transportation routes for goods
Improved traffic flow, bringing more traffic to the region, and therefore more exposure for local businesses
Generation of more quality employment opportunities
Development of local subdivisions and communities like Royal Oaks and Roxdale
More international competition in the region, urging investors to act quickly
Rapid surges in investment, design, development, and construction processes
Following the interchange, we can expect to see even more activity as people and businesses begin to take advantage of all the exciting things going on in the Corridor.
Provincial Support in the Tens of Millions
The press conference on Friday, January 25th wasn’t just to announce the project, but to reveal that the province would chip in $33M toward the massive project. It showcases the province’s confidence that this interchange will mean big business – not only for Leduc and Edmonton, but for the entire province of Alberta. The total cost of the project is expected to come in about $70-$80M. While the province’s contribution won’t cover the costs, it will allow construction to begin as soon as possible. Everyone in the region wants this project to move forward, and that commitment is beginning to show.
The province’s announcement comes on the heels of the news that Amazon will be opening a new fulfillment centre in the region, increasing the manufacturing strength in this foreign trade zone. Transportation is becoming increasingly important to international businesses as we start to ship more and more goods to a global market.
Edmonton International Airport's Busiest Year Yet
The interchange is also good news for the Edmonton International Airport. According to a recent news release, EIA has just had its busiest year in history. More than 8.2M passengers were served in 2018, which represents a 5.8% increase over 2017. That’s expected to increase further in 2019, and into the future.
The airport isn’t the only attraction bringing people onto the roads in the area though. There’s also plenty of increased traffic in the region due to developments like the Premium Outlet Collection Mall and nearby Costco. More attractions opening this year – including the Fairfield Inn by Marriott and the Century Mile Racetrack – will require better traffic flow as they increase commuters within the region.
In fact, it’s estimated that 54,000 vehicles already travel this particular stretch of road each and every day. This can often lead to congestion during busy times, which the new interchange will relieve.
Generating Thousands of Jobs in the Edmonton International Corridor
The province expects that 8300 jobs will be created for the construction of the interchange. Of those 8300, 4000 will likely be construction jobs, while 4300 will be permanent multi-sector jobs.
Of course, all of this is in addition to the nearly 2000 jobs created by recent development and expansions at the EIA, as well as thousands of jobs provided by recently opened nearby retail centers, medical centers, and professional buildings.
What to Expect for the Project
The timeline for the project is already moving quickly. Design work for the interchange was started in the summer of 2017, with completion of the plans expected at the end of 2019. After land acquisition is complete and utilities are brought in, construction will begin in 2021, with expected opening date in 2024.