Alberta ramps up infrastructure spending
Consulting engineers in the province of Alberta can look forward to increased opportunities with the Alberta govern...
Consulting engineers in the province of Alberta can look forward to increased opportunities with the Alberta government on building projects. The Government of Ed Stelmach issued Budget 2008 at the end of April, and it includes a 21% increase in capital spending compared with the budget last year.
The province will spend $22.2 billion over the next three years on infrastructure in order to “help address the needs of a growing economy and population.”
Treasury Board President Lloyd Snelgrove said the money would be used both for building new infrastructure and for maintaining existing facilities. The first year will see approximately $8.7 billion spent on infrastructure. Over $800 million of that has been set by for escalating costs on projects already approved.
Highway construction, for example, has been allocated $5.2 billion over the next three years, representing an increase of $548 million over the 2007 budget amount. Projects earmarked as priorities include ring road links in Edmonton and Calgary, and the twinning of Highway 63 to Fort McMurray.
Municipalities will receive close to $5 billion under various initiatives for roads, bridges, public transit, water and wastewater facilities, etc. This amount is an increase of $735 million compared to last year.
The government will spend $1.1 billion on developing 11,000 affordable housing units and almost 2,000 seniors supported living units. This amount is an increase of $589 million from Budget 2007.
$3.3 billion is allocated for construction of health care facilities — an increase of $294 million over the amount allocated in the budget last year.
$1.6 billion is allocated for schools, including plans for a total of 18 new K-9 schools in Edmonton and Calgary; this is an increase of $382 million compared to last year.
Another big-ticket item is the $1.9 billion allocated for government facilities and equipment. The government plans to spend this money on programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as on projects like the replacement of the research greenhouse at the Brooks Crop Diversification Centre South, upgrades to air tanker bases, and on developing a province-wide information technology system for the police.