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Author Topic: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River  (Read 5324 times)

Kniwt

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The Edmonton Journal reports today on
http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/massive-evacuation-clogged-fort-mcmurrays-roads-push-on-for-new-ways-out

Quote
The northern Alberta city of more than 80,000 people is split by the Athabasca River and connected to the rest of the province primarily by Highway 63. Referred to as the Highway of Death for the decades of head-on collisions and single-vehicle accidents that exacted a terrible toll, the road has recently been mostly twinned and is now much safer.

Highway 63 also extends north to oilsands camps and Fort McKay. Highway 881, which branches off Highway 63 about 16 kilometres south of the city and connects to Lac La Biche, offers an alternative corridor. But Wood Buffalo Coun. Allan Vinni believes east and west routes are essential.

We desperately need the road we refer to as the (ECUMAR). Its been the top project, the next big project, for 10 years.

Thats the East Clearwater Multi-User Access Road. Its a $1-billion eastern ring road intended to divert heavy trucks off Highway 63, which runs through the heart of the city. It would cross the Clearwater River, join Highway 686 and eventually connect Fort McMurray to Peace River in the west.
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SignGeek101

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 08:56:43 PM »

Honestly, I'd be surprised if this happens. The Alberta government just spent tons of $ twinning 63 and fixing it up.

paulthemapguy

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2016, 09:36:56 PM »

Honestly, I'd be surprised if this happens. The Alberta government just spent tons of $ twinning 63 and fixing it up.
With an oil boom, though, I think anything can be possible.
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Desert Man

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 08:36:33 PM »

A full service, year-round road to the isolated part of Alberta, despite Fort MacMurray is a sizable populated city, could helped bring down the wildfire from becoming a massive inferno. Expansion of the existing route there by adding one more lane will reduce traffic accidents and fatalities.
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Get your kicks...on Route 99! Like to turn 66 upside down. The other historic Main street of America.

Chris

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 07:28:47 AM »

A 240 kilometer (150 mile) stretch of Highway 63 has been twinned to a four-lane, divided highway from Grassland into Fort McMurray over the past few years. To my knowledge it was entirely or nearly entirely completed in October 2015.

AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 08:44:13 AM »

Not related to the highway issues, but the fire continues to burn out of control.  Yesterday about 8000 people were issued a mandatory evacuation from several oil camps north of Fort Mac as the fire still isn't under control.
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Chris

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2016, 04:23:21 AM »

Over 500,000 hectares (5,000 km / 1,930 sq mi) has been burned so far, which is almost twice the land area of the state of Rhode Island.

To put the fire in perspective of the total area burned annually in Alberta:

Duke87

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2016, 11:50:16 PM »

A road directly from fort McMurray to route 686 near Peerless lake might be just shy of 200 km if built along a direct route between the two points. It's a perfectly feasible distance for something driven by an oil boom... although it might have to wait until the price of oil goes back up before it's justifiable for that purpose.

Would not have helped make it easier to escape from this fire, which literally surrounded the city, but it could certainly be nice to have another way out in case of future emergency.
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ghYHZ

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2016, 07:03:59 AM »

Would not have helped make it easier to escape from this fire, which literally surrounded the city,......

Watch the area of the fire grow by date:

https://nationalpostcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/animation_may_18.gif?w=940&h=951
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dmuzika

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2016, 05:52:41 PM »

I've also wondered why a Fort McMurray - La Loche (SK) highway has never been constructed.  It would turn a 10 hour drive into a 2 hour drive and open up a third way to the south via SK 155.  The Alberta government shelved the idea back in 2008 (see http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=db277a2e-6ce7-4d5b-85ae-35c51363934a).  Granted it wouldn't have helped people attempting to leave the neighborhoods within Fort McMurray as it would require traffic to use Hwys 63 and 881 located south of the city.

Macleans made mention of the highway after Trudeau visited La Loche.

Source: http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/after-trudeaus-visit-to-la-loche-what-he-can-do-next/
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Duke87

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2016, 06:56:51 PM »

It looks like there already is a more direct road between the two (route 956), although it relies on some ice bridges and is only passable in winter.
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Chris

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2016, 11:57:00 AM »

Winter roads are reportedly not as reliable in Alberta, due to periodic warm spells with the Chinook winds they have.

dmuzika

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Re: Fort McMurray fire brings renewed call for road to Peace River
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2016, 03:25:06 PM »

It looks like there already is a more direct road between the two (route 956), although it relies on some ice bridges and is only passable in winter.

SK 956 is an all weather, gravel highway but the Alberta side is a winter road.  I should clarify that when I referred to a highway being constructed, I was meaning a all-season, paved, 2 lane highway.  SK 155 is paved.

Winter roads are reportedly not as reliable in Alberta, due to periodic warm spells with the Chinook winds they have.

I agree that winter roads are not reliable in Alberta, but Fort McMurray generally doesn't get Chinooks as it's too far north and too far from the Rocky Mountains.  Mild winters have shortened the usability of the winter road that goes from the northern end of AB 63 to Fort Chipewyan, and there have been calls to upgrade it to an all-season highway.  Doing that would effectively extend AB 63 north to Fort Chipewyan and Fort Smith, NT, connecting it with NT 5.
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