About 250 pieces of equipment and 400 workers will be grading 60 kilometres to get it ready for paving.
Trees will also be cleared for another 55 kilometres.
Jeanna Friedley with Alberta Transportation says despite that, it will be a squeeze to meet its accelerated schedule for twinning the highway by 2016.
She says there are fewer construction days in northeastern Alberta than in other parts of the province due to frost coming out of the ground later and more rain and snow.
The province wants to open up eight passing lanes this summer and build the new Lac La Biche bridge by summer 2014.
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