Alberta Highway 63
|Length:||443 km (275 mi)|
|South end:||Hwy 28 / Hwy 829 southwest of Radway|
| Hwy 18
|North end:||North of Fort MacKay|
|Thorhild County, Athabasca County, Lac La Biche County, Wood Buffalo R.M.|
|Major cities:||Fort McMurray|
Alberta Provincial Highway No. 63 is a north–south highway in northern Alberta, Canada. In the south, Highway 63 begins at its intersection with Highway 28 approximately 6 km (4 mi) southwest of Radway, passing through Boyle and Fort McMurray before ending approximately 16 km (10 mi) north of its second crossing of the Athabasca River near Fort MacKay.
Much of Highway 63 passes through boreal forest, although aspen parkland and farmland is predominant as far as Wandering River. The highway also passes through the Athabasca Oil Sands between Fort McMurray and Fort MacKay.
From its terminus to Fort McMurray, the highway is designated as a core route of Canada's National Highway System.
Highway 63 has seen an increasingly high volume of traffic due to the growing oilsands industry in the Regional Municipality (RM) of Wood Buffalo, included in which is the oil centre of Fort McMurray, which has led to serious transportation-related problems. Trucks carrying large equipment can cause traffic delays, since they can be large enough to occupy two traffic lanes. Until 2016, most of the highway was a two-lane undivided roadway, with the exception of approximately 55 km (34 mi) from south of its intersection with Highway 881 through Fort McMurray to south of Fort MacKay. It is also the only road leading out of Fort McMurray, which makes it a critical link to the growing community.
After years of both public and political pressure, the provincial government announced in February 2006 that it would begin twinning the entire two-lane portion of the highway to a four-lane divided standard from Atmore to just south of Fort McMurray. The twinning began in 2006 and was estimated to take at least five years to complete.
As of October 2009, the twinning of approximately 16 km (10 mi) of this 240 km (150 mi) corridor had been completed, with another 16 km (10 mi) expected to be graded by late 2011. In October 2012, it was announced the remaining portion of Highway 63 between Grassland and Fort McMurray will be twinned by the end of 2016 and 36 km (22 mi) of twinned highway opened near Wandering River on November 5, 2012. Interchanges within Fort McMurray at Confederation Way and Thickwood Boulevard were completed in late 2013.
Between 2001 and 2005, over 1,000 crashes occurred on Highway 63 in which 25 people were killed and 257 others were injured.
|Continues as Hwy 829 south|
|Thorhild County||||0||0|| Hwy 28 – Cold Lake, Redwater, Edmonton
Hwy 829 south – Redwater
|Hwy 63 begins
|||13||8|| Hwy 18 west – Thorhild, Westlock, Barrhead
Hwy 656 east
|Newbrook||34||21||Hwy 661 – Rochester|
|Athabasca County||||64||40||Hwy 663 west – Colinton|| Hwy 663 concurrency begins
|Boyle||73||45||Hwy 663 east – Caslan, Hylo||Hwy 663 concurrency ends
|74||46||Hwy 831 south – Long Lake Provincial Park, Waskatenau, Lamont|
|||89||55||Hwy 55 west – Athabasca|| Hwy 55 concurrency begins
|Grassland||103||64||1st Street W||Passes through Grassland
|Atmore||112||70|| Hwy 55 east – Lac La Biche, Cold Lake
Hwy 855 south – Smoky Lake
|Hwy 63 branches north
Hwy 55 concurrency ends
|Wandering River||156||97||road||Passes Wandering River
|R.M. of Wood Buffalo||Mariana Lake||250||160||road||Passes Mariana Lake
|||336||209||Hwy 881 south – Anzac, Conklin, Lac La Biche|
|Fort McMurray||352||219||Hwy 69 east – Airport, Saprae Creek|
|355||221||Beacon Hill Drive / Gregoire Drive|
|357||222||Tolen Drive / King Street / Prairie Loop Boulevard||Interchange
|358||222||Hospital Street / Abasand Drive||Interchange
|359.4||223.3||Hardin Street||Traffic signals; southbound bypass lane
|359.7||223.5||Main Street||Interchange proposed; no present access
|359.9||223.6||Morrison Street||Traffic signals; southbound bypass lane
|360.4||223.9||Franklin Avenue / C.A. Knight Way||Interchange
Southbound exit, northbound entrance
|361||224||Crosses Athabasca River
Athabasca River Bridge (northbound), Steinhauer Bridge (southbound)
Grant MacEwan Bridge (southbound Franklin Avenue exit)
|368||229||Hwy 686 west / Parsons Access Road||Interchange
|||389||242||Base Plant Road / Voyageur Road||Interchange
|||399||248||Hwy 63 U-turn||Northbound U-turn after short one-way separation of lanes
|Fort MacKay||412||256||Fort MacKay Road|
|||413||257||Crosses Athabasca River|
|||429||267||Hwy 63 ends|
|Continues as winter road to Fort Chipewyan, Wood Buffalo National Park, and Fort Smith|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Provincial Highways Designation Order, Alberta Transportation, p. 9
- Alberta Government announcement
- Government of Alberta - Infrastructure project
- The Oil Sands Developers Group- Transportation Fact Sheet: October 2009.
- Alberta Transportation- Highway 63 twinning will resume: March 2010.
- "Highway 63 twinning fast-tracked for fall 2016 completion". Government of Alberta. 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
- "Newly-twinned Highway 63 section north of Wandering River opens today". Government of Alberta. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
- "Highway 63 twinning update - countdown to 2016". Alberta Government. April 19, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- "Multi-vehicle crash on Highway 63 kills 2". CBC News. 2008-03-29. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- Devos, P.Eng., Henry; Rebus, P.Eng., Bob; Furtado, P.Eng., Glen. "Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation" (PDF). Resolving Network Hierarchy with an Unconventional Core C/D Highway Concept, Highway 63, Fort McMurray. McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. p. 13. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "Alberta opens new Fort McMurray bridge seven months early". Government of Alberta. 10 Dec 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- 2010 Provincial Highways 1 - 216 Series Progress Chart (map, 8 MB) by Alberta Transportation.
- Northeast Provincial Highway Projects by Alberta Transportation