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The Canadian and Alberta governments will spend $680-million to twin a highway to increase access to the province's oil sands, whose reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia's.

Ottawa will pay as much as $150-million toward the estimated cost of $320-million to double a 146- kilometre stretch of Highway 63 to Fort McMurray, the governments said today in a statement. Alberta will pay $360-million to finish about 100 km more.

The extra lanes will reduce congestion and traffic accidents on the way to Fort McMurray, the heart of the oil sands, the governments said. The road has grown clogged with vehicles carrying equipment and workers as companies such as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. expand development there. Bloomberg