Road work planned in Gasoline Alley
Roadway improvements will begin this summer to eliminate traffic snarls at a busy T-intersection near Staples and Costco on the west side of Gasoline Alley.
On Tuesday, Red Deer County council approved Central City Asphalt Ltd.’s bid to do work along Leva Avenue from McKenzie Road to Waskasoo Avenue.
The work will involve building an additional southbound lane along north-south Leva Avenue. It now has three lanes, two of which are northbound.
A roundabout, a modernized traffic circle where drivers must always yield to traffic already in the circle, will be built at Lantern Street and Leva Avenue.
It will be constructed on the corner leading to Staples and Costco, so the majority of road construction won’t affect traffic.
“We don’t want to disrupt traffic anymore than we have to,” said County Mayor Jim Wood. “People will be somewhat inconvenienced, but they’re going to like to be able to drive on the road when it’s done.”
Wood said the current T-intersection has become a real problem for traffic because drivers are coming off of Hwy 2 and into the area.
Plus, drivers are trying to come off or onto Leva Avenue. It’s been a real inconvenience for businesspeople.
Wood said this plan has been well received from employers in the area.
“It’s recognized that any construction will have some slowdown in the area,” said Wood.
“It will be minimized to the best we can. We want to see Gasoline Alley continue to prosper and not have traffic stopped all the time.”
He added that a service road running along Hwy 2 will be open so traffic would be able to access that during construction.
“We will be doing lane widening on Leva, which already has three lanes, so we should have traffic flowing there most of the time.”
Wood said the roundabout was the best solution for the area because in that way, drivers coming from Hwy 2 wouldn’t have to stop.
Central City Asphalt Ltd.’s bid of $6.4 million came under budget. Part of the construction, where work needs to tie in Leva Avenue north of Lime Street, will be funded by the provincial government. Red Deer County’s portion of the cost ends up being $5.3 million as a result.