By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Hidden in the depths of Budget 2013-2014 and in the tweets of Twitter comes the revelation the Cardiff Road interchange project has been postponed indefinitely.
In a Twitter question to Parker Hogan, Press Secretary to Ric McIver, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation, HCouncillor Lisa Holmes asked for an update on the Cardiff interchange.
Hogan indicated to Holmes the interchanged had been “deferred.” When pressed for information on the timeline, Hogan replied – “Not on the 3 yr construction plan.”
As recently as Nov. 27, 2012 Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Maureen Kubinec offered Morinville an update on the delayed but still to proceed Cardiff Road interchange.
“The design of the interchange is complete and the project is expected to take two to three construction seasons to complete once its started,” Kubinec told Council at that time, adding she had been promised quarterly updates on the project from Alberta Transportation.
The MLA acknowledged last November how important the issue was in Morinville and reminded Council she was still slugging away on the community’s behalf. “I will work really hard to make sure this project happens as soon as possible,” she said. “It is the number one issue on my list of priorities.”
Councillor Lisa Holmes is not pleased with the news the project has been deferred. “To say that I was disappointed to learn this news is a huge understatement,” she said. “Our community and our region has worked so hard to communicate with the government why this intersection need to be addressed as soon as possible. We are going to have to renew our efforts in advocating our message in order to get this seen as a priority item by the GOA again. The Minister made a commitment to us in 2011 that this was a funded project so the fact that they have taken our money and reallocated it to somewhere else is not acceptable.”
MLA Kubinec did not immediately respond to The Morinville News’ request for information on the interchange’s being deferred by the 2013-2014 budget.
Two years and waiting
The interchange, announced by Kubinec’s predecessor Ken Kowalski in the summer of 2011, was to begin construction last past spring; however, problems acquiring the two sections of land preventing the project’s commencement.
UPDATE: MLA Kubinec responded to our request for info and said she did not yet have a lot of detail on the matter and hoped to get further info Monday morning. “It sounds like it is put on hold but I want to know more detail on next steps,” she said.