65th Avenue Interchange project moving slower than expected

Delays in obtaining federal funds appear to have pushed back the timeline for getting the project started.

In January, Leduc-Beaumont MLA Brad Rutherford predicted the city of Leduc would put the massive construction project out to tender.  The prediction may have been a little ambitious.

The city, which hasn't even been named project manager yet, isn't ready for the Request For Proposal phase yet.

"If you put your RFP out before you get the okay from the federal government, you risk losing the grant," said Leduc Mayor Bob Young.

The city and province have both committed millions to make the project a reality.  However, a further $45.5 million dollars in federal money is required to get the project started.  An application for those funds has already gone to the National Trade Corridor Fund.  

"There is also a possibility this could go through Infrastructure Canada," added Young.

When the decision to go ahead with the project was announced last fall, it was suggested construction would start this year and wrap up in 2024.  The mayor had a discussion with Transportation Minister Rick McIver about that recently.

"Talking with the minister, he assures me that we will start construction before the end of this year," said Young.

Meantime, a land swap still has to take place between the Ministry of Transportation and Edmonton International Airports.  However, neither side will confirm the parcel of land involved or the timeline for completing those negotiations.

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