Oil sands pike possible in Alberta Canada
Officials in Alberta Canada are looking at tolls to finance a quality highway Edmonton to Fort McMurray, there settlement at the center of the Athabascar oil sands - the largest single reservoir of heavy oil and bitumen in the world. The distance to Edmonton is about about 250 miles, 420km.
The improved highway would get oil workers, equipment and provisions north while oil would use the planned Keystone XL Pipeline to Texas and the northern Gateway project for exports to Asia via British Columbia Ports.
Edmonton is well connected by a highway (Route 2) to Calgary 175 miles, 280km south which has a major airport and is located on Trans Canada 1 highway and railroads.
Wikipedia on early discovery: "In 1788, fur trader Alexander MacKenzie wrote: 'At about 24 miles (39 km) from the fork (of the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers) are some bituminous fountains into which a pole of 20 feet (6.1 m) long may be inserted without the least resistance. The bitumen is in a fluid state and when mixed with gum, the resinous substance collected from the spruce fir, it serves to gum the Indians' canoes."