Highway 3 is an east-west route between Lethbridge and Medicine Hat in southern Alberta that cuts through prime agricultural land. Now, that highway will be twinned thanks in part to the hard work of the SouthGrow Regional Initiative, which has been making the case for increased transportation infrastructure throughout the region.
SouthGrow at a Glance
- Member Communities: 28
- Area: 17,835 sq km
- Population: 181,884
- Major Projects Value: $1.2 billion
- Number of Businesses: 6,335
- Key Industries: Agriculture, Agri-Foods, Alternative Energy, Bio-Technology, Manufacturing, Tourism
- Website: southgrow.com
Sources: Government of Alberta, SouthGrow
“SouthGrow has been working on this project for a long time,” says Peter Casurella, executive director with SouthGrow. “We have been working with the provincial government to ensure twinning this highway is a priority in cooperation with our friends at the Highway 3 Twinning Development Association.”
The provincial government announced the twinning in the summer of 2020 at a cost of $150 million, which will see 46 kilometres of Highway 3 upgraded between Taber and Burdett. It represents the middle part of Highway 3 between Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.
Casurella says the increased transportation infrastructure will help agricultural producers in the region move their goods, as well as goods related to energy projects that are moved along the highway. More than 120 value-added agricultural businesses operate on the Highway 3 corridor in the SouthGrow region, which benefit from lots of sun for a long growing season and a strong irrigation infrastructure.
“With the growth of agri-businesses and renewable energy, we have been adding a lot of trucks to the road year over year,” he adds. “We know that transportation logistics are one of the top considerations for site selectors and there’s about 6 million people within a day’s drive of southern Alberta that we can move our agri-food products to.”