Saskatchewan said it is committed to completing its final nine-kilometres of Highway 956, an all-weather road linking La Loche to Fort McMurray.

Premier Scott Moe said he has written to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney requesting he finish his portion of the highway.

“An all-weather road between these two northern communities will give employers access to a valuable workforce in northern Saskatchewan, while providing gainful employment and economic development opportunities for the people and communities of this region,” Moe said.

The road was originally announced as a project to commemorate the two province’s centennials in 2005. Saskatchewan broke ground on Highway 956, its portion of the project, in 2007 and completed 44 of the total 53 kilometres in 2008.

Pre-construction work on the remaining nine kilometres near Garson Lake to the Alberta border will begin this year, with construction expected to be complete by the end of 2023.  Alberta has not yet begun construction of its portion of the road.

The timing of the construction announcement comes as the province is preparing for a by-election in the northwest.