RED DEER COUNTY – The newest major commercial hub on the QEII corridor has officially opened for business with its first two commercial tenants.
Burger King and Petro-Canada outlets opened their doors on Jan. 27 at Phase 1 of the 42-acre Junction 42 development, specifically the included 18-acre Travel Service Centre located east of Penhold at the QEII and Highway 42 intersection, created to attract and service the enormous volume of truck traffic driving north and south along one of North America’s busiest highway corridors.
The two new businesses are considered by Red Deer County important pieces of the Travel Service Centre, which will include a bulk fuel cardlock, gasoline and electric vehicle service station and additional fast service restaurants.
In fact, a Tim Hortons outlet is scheduled to open at the site in April, added Dave Dittrick, assistant manager for Red Deer County. He added the county is also in negotiations for another restaurant and truck wash facility.
The official business opening for Phase 1 of Junction 42, which is eight kilometres south of Gasoline Alley, followed the commissioning of Red Deer County’s new $3.1 million water treatment plant for the site, as well as the installation of the $1.7 million sanitary wastewater line that connects to the South RedDeer Regional Wastewater Commission system. The new service has the capability of servicing more than 600 acres. As well, the area is also serviced with county-owned fibre optic cable lines offering high-speed internet access.
Dittrick, who is also the county’s director of planning and development, noted the Partner Rest Area, a separate five-acre parking site for truckers adjacent to Highway 42 that is jointly funded by the county and Alberta Transportation.
With so much activity now coming together at the site, Dittrick is not expecting the excitement to slow down.
“We’ve had tons of interest. This will allow Red Deer County to put forward proposals for value added manufacturing, agriculture manufacturing and also more highway commercial pursuits, should they come our way,” he said.
Dittrick noted that while Junction 42 is only a six-minute drive away from Gasoline Alley the new development does not in any way conflict with the established highway service area as it’s opening with a specific mission.
“It’s different from Gasoline Alley. It’s becoming more urbanized. You can see that from the residential development there. Junction 42 has a zero residential plan,” said Dittrick. “In Gasoline Alley we didn’t have a place for trucks to park. We want to make sure we always had places for trucks to park, so we are surrounding the parking lot with business opportunities.
“That said, depending on how busy or big it gets we have additional land that we could use for parking if the need should arise,” he added. “It’s a unique situation to have.”