INNISFAIL – New development at highways 2 and 42 means Red Deer County residents could soon be seeing double.
That's in the form of a second Gasoline Alley, a multi-million-dollar project which could see future services such as restaurants, a gas station, a convenience store and even hotels.
Red Deer County announced Friday (Dec. 7) that the first phase parking area is now open at the Junction 42 Partnership Rest Area, south of Gasoline Alley.
“I see this as an economical alternative to our Gasoline Alley and I believe it will somewhat look like our Gasoline Alley into the future,” said Jim Wood, Red Deer County mayor. “I look at it as one of the things that will in fact continue to make Red Deer County prosperous and keep us financially sound.
“This is a regional economic boost,” said Wood, adding the development will create tax revenue for the county.
Mike Yargeau, Penhold mayor, said the opening of the parking area is a positive step.
“Any type of development there is good news for the Town of Penhold,” said Yargeau. “Once the development has started there, I think you’re going to see more and more from both the county and the Town of Penhold. I think it’ll be good for both of us.”
Red Deer County council recently approved a Local Area Structure Plan and the paved parking area for commercial truck traffic.
The development includes the parking area with long drive-through stalls, angled ones for large trucks, lighting and heated washroom facilities.
“When all of the interchange was changed into Gasoline Alley between us and the City of Red Deer, it took away the parking area for the large trucks,” said Wood. “We worked together with Alberta Transportation to come up with a location so these truck drivers (would) have a place to pull off the road."
The plan will eventually encompass about 291 acres of land, located 9.5 kilometres south of the City of Red Deer. The site is directly adjacent to the Town of Penhold boundary.
Alberta Transportation contributed $2.5 million to the rest area.