By MorinvilleNews.com Staff
Sturgeon County – A tribute to the military was celebrated Wednesday afternoon with the official re-opening and re-naming of 195th Avenue, a ceremony marking the culmination of more than two year’s work designing, engineering and constructing a four-lane connector road linking Sturgeon County to the City of Edmonton and Anthony Henday Drive.
“The upgrade of this road has been a long time coming,” said Sturgeon County Mayor Donald Rigney. “We are very grateful to both the Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta for the significant financial contributions made to this project and I personally want to thank our local MP and MLA for their support on our behalf.”
In March of 2009, County Council approved a grant application under the Building Canada Fund for improvements to 195th Avenue from Highway 28 east to the City of Edmonton boundary, including 66th and 82nd Streets. The project was originally budgeted at $11.2 million, with the provincial and federal governments each contributing $3 million. County Council approved debenture financing to cover the remaining $5.2 million; however, land acquisition came in under budget saving the project $1.5 million.
The infrastructure project included upgrades to 195th Avenue and 82nd Street, intersection improvements at Range Road 244, Rhine Road and 82nd/Ordnance Road, new access road construction to CFB Edmonton Supply Depot and Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton Cemetery, and the construction of a pathway along the west side of 82nd Street. Additionally, 82nd Street was realigned to form a common intersection point with Ordnance Road on 195th Avenue.
The project consisted of 247,200 cubic metres of earthwork, the installation of 767 metres of culverts, placement of 56,100 tonnes of gravel and another 28,600 tonnes of asphalt mix.
But upgrades to the shape and scope of the road were not the only changes. During Wednesday’s ceremony, 195th Avenue was officially renamed Valour Avenue, a name change to honour the spirit and dedication of the soldiers who serve at CFB Edmonton. The base lies directly north of the upgraded road.
Valour Avenue was the winning suggestion in a road naming contest conducted by Guthrie School in January of 2010.
The mayor felt the name was an appropriate one, given the County’s relationship with the base and its soldiers. “Sturgeon County is very fortunate to have a strong relationship with our military community,” he said. “We are proud to honour the men and women who serve our country by renaming the road to Valour Avenue.”
On hand for the ribbon cutting and sign unveiling were Westlock-St. Paul MLA Brian Storseth, Athabasca-Redwater MLA Jeff Johnson, Major Kevin Montgomery, Guthrie Principal Brian Farrell and students as well as members of Sturgeon County Council and administration.