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Sylvan Lake to correct steep speed bumps

Some of Sylvan Lake’s much-maligned speed bumps are getting tamed.

Council agreed on Tuesday to spend $63,000 to fix eight raised intersections to reduce the steepness of the ramps on either side.

Complaints began pouring in shortly after the raised crossing points were built two years ago as part of the town’s multi-year major redevelopment of Lakeshore Drive.

In a report to council, the town’s director of public works Alan Gassor says that half of the intersection crossing ramps were constructed steeper than the engineering specifications.

“There are variations in the length and height which can result in unpleasant travel along that section of the road, if vehicle speed is greater than approximately 20 to 25 km/h,” the report says. The speed limit on that stretch is 30 km/h.

Mayor Susan Samson said three of the crossings were particularly steep and caused excessive bouncing for vehicles passing over.

The problems are associated with the first sets of speed bumps built east of 44th Street. Those built west of 44th Street to 50th Street were designed with a flatter slope.

To take some of the bounce out of the crossings, ramps on either side will be lengthened to reduce the slope to a five per cent gradient, down from the existing seven to nine per cent.

“It won’t take the height out but the longer run will smooth the ride out,” said Samson, who was confident it would address residents’ concerns.

While only three of the crossings didn’t meet specifications and will be repaired under warranty, the town worked out a deal with the builder to pay a reduced rate of $63,000 to redo all eight of the original crossings to match the profiles of those built later.

The crossings have drawn mixed reviews. While some don’t like them, residents in other areas of town have requested them because they slow traffic.

“Some people like them, some people dislike them and some people are fully accepting of them,” said the mayor.

Modifications will be done next spring. The cost of the project will come out of the contingency budget for the next phase of the Lakeshore Drive Redevelopment Project.



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