Things are looking up for Hwy. 1A upgrades, and with the Hwy. 1A-22 interchange project.

The Town of Cochrane is receiving $3.5 million in provincial Municipal Stimulus Program (MSP) funding to help with a project to improve traffic flow along Hwy. 1A within the town limits.

During the opening of the Jack Tennant Memorial Bridge, Municipal Affairs minister Tracy Allard provided advanced notice of the funding, says Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie.

"Both the mayor and I have been talking a long time to both town administration and the provincial government about this upgrade that the town has put forward as far as widening Hwy. 1A in through and up to 5th Ave," says Guthrie.

That fits in well with the timeline for the new Hwy. 1A-22 interchange, says Guthrie.

Recently, Alberta Transportation and TC Energy agreed on the pipeline crossing near the interchange, and now the engineering and design of the interchange and the utilities crossing are being finalized.

"What we want to be able to do is show that we're putting our best foot forward here, and complete whatever work we can ahead of time."

Guthrie says the town's approach of working in partnership with the province is effective.

"Working with Jeff and the administration is an absolute pleasure," he says. "We work well together. It's a positive attitude that they have. They're always looking to being creative, and I think this kind of creativity works well with our provincial government. We certainly appreciate when we have ideas like that, and if we can partner up to move them forward.

"The council did a good job of taking the bull by the horns, putting together these ideas, and then the province has come through to give them these resources to help them out."

Mayor Jeff Genung is scheduled to provide an overview of the town's plan to improve traffic flow on Oct. 27.