Highway history: Valleyview christens service corridor as Crocus Hill Gasoline Alley

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Valleyview is celebrating this year as the 65th anniversary of the Whitecourt Cutoff’s completion by naming its service corridor Crocus Hill Gasoline Alley.

With the support of the Town of Valleyview, the Valleyview and District Chamber of Commerce is also implementing this naming as a way to promote the community as a destination for visitors and thus diversify the local economy and strengthen businesses.

“The travel service industry is one of the industries that we can actually help here, so one that is truly local,” said Chamber President Adrian Petrilli.

“Like any other industry, it is subject to the forces of the global economy, but it is more (manageable) and more local than say oil prices.”

The service corridor is named after Crocus Hill, a nearby landmark. The name also recognizes that visitors already refer to this stretch as gasoline alley. It will apply to all of Highway 43 in Valleyview and a portion of Highway 49.


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Although the name is official and already displayed online, Petrilli said they are still working on signage and wayfinding as an ongoing project in co-operation with the Town of Valleyview and Alberta Transportation.

“There is no better time than 2020 for the Chamber to share our story, celebrate our history and boost the Town of Valleyview’s image and reputation,” said Town of Valleyview CAO Ben Berlinguette in a release.

Before the Whitecourt Cutoff, motorists had to use Highway 2 that went from Edmonton north to Slave Lake, then west to High Prairie, Valleyview, Grande Prairie and ultimately to “Mile 0” of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, B.C.

In 1955, the Whitecourt Cutoff was completed with Valleyview becoming a major crossroad on the Edmonton-Peace Country corridor.

Businesses first sprung up along what is now Crocus Hill Gasoline Alley as early as 1955 back when Valleyview was still recognized as a village, later becoming a town in 1957.

The chamber is now using marketing materials and information to improve the image of this location with the goal of serving the Edmonton-Peace Country corridor similar to how Red Deer serves the Calgary-Edmonton corridor.

Petrilli emphasized the importance of their service corridor to Valleyview’s economy.

“It has suffered from the pandemic, but initial indications are that traffic is already improving, so yeah, it is a robust economy builder,” he said.

No planned events will be hosted this year due to the pandemic, but the Valleyview Chamber says it will bring back the Show and Shines in the future.

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