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Alberta moving forward with highway rest areas

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The Alberta government is providing the opportunity to develop government-owned highway safety rest areas along major highways.

The request for proposals stage is the next step in building these commercial safety rest areas. It follows two years of gathering feedback from municipalities and the trucking industry.

“Alberta’s highways connect businesses and travellers with trade and leisure opportunities,” said Minister of Transportation Prasad Panda.

“Developing new rest areas will enhance convenience and safety for the businesses and tourists who travel Alberta’s highways.”

Commercial facilities at rest areas will allow people to fill up their vehicles, eat, rest, or stretch their legs. Interested parties have until late December to submit a proposal through a negotiated request for proposals process. Contracts are expected to be awarded in late 2023, with construction starting in 2024.

“Speaking as a female driver, an ideal rest stop is safe and well lit. I am delighted that the Alberta Government has launched an initiative to improve rest areas,” said Shannon Holicza, In-Cab Instructor, Bison Transport. “Drivers are typically behind the wheel for up to 13 hours daily. Having a safe, clean place to refresh can make all the difference.”

After Alberta Transportation evaluates the proposals, it will select the highest scoring one and negotiate the scope for each of the selected sites. Sites currently identified for development and any future sites will only be developed following consultation and input from local stakeholders.

“Alberta’s transportation sector has long advocated for clean, safe and well-equipped amenities at highway rest stops; they are essential to both our professional commercial truck drivers and Albertans,” added Jude Groves, board chair, Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA). 

“We commend the Government of Alberta for its ongoing support and efforts to establish a safer and professional working environment for our transportation industry and all those on Alberta highways.”