Thursday, November 5, 2009

881

Given that we have to travel Highway 881 to get anywhere whether it be north to Fort McMurray or south to Lac La Biche, I figured I'd give the road a post of its own...the first and likely only time a highway will be the focus of a post on this blog. Highway 881 is actually made up of two separate sections, the section with which we are most familiar, runs about 304km from Lac La Biche up to where it meets Highway 63, 16km south of Fort McMurray. There is also a southern section running from Highway 55, east of Lac La Biche down to Hardisty. From what I understand, the northern section was built around 1986 as a gravel road until just recently when it was paved in order to provide a better alternate route up to the oil sands of McMurray and relieve some of the pressure off Highway 63.

I'm not quite sure where the kilometer posts start, but heading north from Lac La Biche, the turn off to Janvier lies at Kilometer 213. The only other communities along our stretch of the highway are Conklin, about 40km south of here and Anzac, 70km to the north. Highway 881 runs through the heart of oil sands territory and there are at least 3 major projects tied in with the oil and gas industry along the road that I know of. South to north, these are Christina Lake, Surmont Lake and Long Lake.

Anyhow, before this post becomes too pedantic, here are a few views along the road from some recent trips to Fort McMurray.









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