Province working to permanently fix frost heaves on highway between Sylvan Lake and Red Deer

The Province says work differs from last year’s, and involves full excavation of the 1km stretch

The Province of Alberta is at work repairing the frost heaves on the west bound lane of Hwy. 11 between Red Deer and Sylvan Lake.

Blair Phelps, communications director with the Government of Alberta, says the work being done now on the highway is a permanent fix for the reoccurring problem.

He says the work done on the same one kilometre stretch in 2019 was “minor in comparison” to the work being done now.

“That work involved trenching the areas that were heaving the most and reconstructing those select areas. This prior work was intended only to improve highway smoothness…” Phelps said in an email.

Crews are working to completely excavate the existing pavement and granular base structure and will reconstruct the area “road subgrade with new fill material and insulation.”

“Rebuilding the road will involve adding 88 truckloads of insulation,” a press release from the Province states.

The frost heaves are created when water from Cygnet Lake filters under the highway on the north side, and freezes.

Rebuilding the roadway with a new gravel structure and insulation will prevent the formation of frost heaves, according to Phelps.

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen says fixing the frost heaves on the highway is “long overdue.”

“This repair work will make our roads safer and is part of the major engineering work underway to redesign the intersections into Sylvan Lake,” Dreeshen said in a press release.

The repairs to the stretch of road is not part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, but contributes to upgrading infrastructure across the province and supports roughly 24 jobs, according to Phelps.

Aecon Transportation West was contracted by the Province to complete the work on this stretch of highway, as well as additional repairs and paving on Highway 54, Highway 2, Highway 27 and Highway 590.

“Excavating and rebuilding this section of the highway will offer a permanent solution to the recurring problem of frost heaves in this area, making it safer for Albertans to get where they’re going,” said Transportation Minister Ric McIver, in a press release.

“The David Thompson Highway leads to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Canada and has become a popular route for the tourism industry.”

This project by the Province is expected to take place over six weeks, depending on weather. Work began by Aecon Transportation West on Aug. 10.

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