A capital project described as key to the economic development of Red Deer County is now open.
County officials have announced that parking is now available at the Junction 42 Partnership Rest Area south of Gasoline Alley.
The opening follows Red Deer County council’s approval of the Local Area Structure Plan (LASP) and the paving of a parking area for commercial truck traffic.
Officials say the Plan will eventually encompass approximately 291 acres of land located 9.5 kms south of the City of Red Deer, directly adjacent to the Town of Penhold, north and west of the Highway 2 & 42 overpass.
The project has been a collaboration between the County and Alberta Transportation, with Alberta Transportation contributing $2.5 million dollars to the rest area, which will allow for large trucks to stop, rest, and use heated bathroom facilities.
County officials say the next phase of development will see services such as food outlets, a fuel station, and a convenience store on site, allowing for truck traffic to pull off, rest, and refuel as the service road along Gasoline Alley West is now closed.
“We are always looking at ways to improve safety on the provincial highway network and this project is a step in the right direction,” says Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation in a press release. “The Junction 42 Partnership Rest Area will become a vital component of the Highway 2 corridor, especially in the Red Deer area now that the new Gaetz Avenue Interchange is fully open to traffic. The new rest area offers a safe place for commercial truckers to take a break, and holds considerable potential for future development.”
“Having the Junction 42 Partnership Rest Area open is a major step in Red Deer County’s economic development,” adds Red Deer County mayor Jim Wood. “I would like to thank Alberta Transportation for their continued cooperation, as well as County staff who have worked diligently for years on this project.”
County Manager Curtis Herzberg remarked, “The Junction 42 Partnership Rest Area will be an ideal place for truck traffic and larger vehicles to get the services they need, and get back onto the highway in a convenient and safe manner. This project will be a long-term benefit to both the commercial trucking industry and our own business community.”
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