Highway 3, from east of Sentinel to North of Pincher Creek, is currently being considered for twinning for a total length of approximately 54 km.

Client: Alberta Transportation

Location: Crowsnest Pass, AB

Project Type: Transportation

About This Project

Highway 3, from east of Sentinel to North of Pincher Creek, is currently being considered for twinning for a total length of approximately 54 km. In 2017, ISL Engineering and Land Services (ISL) was awarded prime consultant for the Functional Planning Study. The goal of this study is to develop and deliver a functional plan for a twinned and upgraded highway corridor along Highway 3 that balances the current and future roles of this highway (i.e., long haul trips, tourism and promoting the local economy) with the physical constraints in the area (i.e., mountainous terrain, environmental and cultural sensitivities, the CPR line, access and travel patterns) and the broader provincial needs (i.e., connectivity to British Columbia, access to recreation areas and indirect access to the US border).

In addition to route planning, this study requires the completion of two separate environmental evaluations. The first environmental evaluation, which is ongoing, focuses on the area from east of Sentinel to Frank.

This area consists of both urban and rural areas and includes approximately 30 watercourse crossings. ISL is successfully coordinating our internal environmental specialists with the environmental subconsultants to complete this environmental evaluation and provide appropriate mitigation for the high-importance highway.

An Environmental Evaluation (EE) was undertaken to assess Valued Ecosystem Components (VEC). Findings from the EE were provided to the design team early in the project, and the environmental constraints were considered throughout the development of design options. Overall, the recommended plans avoid many key environmental features through careful consideration of VECs during the evaluation process. These include avoidance of known Westslope Cutthroat Trout habitat; ecologically and publicly important wetlands; use of a narrow twinned cross section with HTCB in the Frank Slide Restricted Development Area; and optimization of cut depths in coal waste areas by recommending synthetic liner to minimize the risk of contamination of highway runoff.

An extensive public engagement process was carried out including public events in June 2017, November 2017, June 2018 and November 2018 to identify key features in the project area and gather input. Individual meetings and site visits were held with the Treaty 7 First Nations. Other stakeholders and special interest groups involved were: Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), Hwy 3 Twinning Development Association, Oldman River Regional Services Commission, Riversdale Resources, Montem Resources, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (Southern Region), TC Energy, AltaLink, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Miistakis Institute, and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y). Many of the concerns raised by the project stakeholders were able to be addressed through the option evaluation process and refinements to the recommended plans, with the concurrence of AT.

Integrated Expertise

  • Transportation Engineering
  • Municipal Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Supporting Services

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