Changes coming for deadly Sylvan intersection

A high-collision intersection near Sylvan Lake could see changes as early as November after the Town of Sylvan Lake and Alberta Transportation reached an agreement on Thursday.

The Hwy 11 and 50th Street/Hwy 781 intersection near Sylvan Lake could see changes as early as November after the Town of Sylvan Lake and Alberta Transportation reached an agreement on Thursday.

The Hwy 11 and 50th Street/Hwy 781 intersection near Sylvan Lake could see changes as early as November after the Town of Sylvan Lake and Alberta Transportation reached an agreement on Thursday.

A high-collision intersection near Sylvan Lake could see changes as early as November after the Town of Sylvan Lake and Alberta Transportation reached an agreement on Thursday.

The two parties met this week and decided that a “right in, right out” configuration at Hwy 11 and 50th Street/Hwy 781 intersection was the best scenario, compared with installing traffic lights there.

A traffic impact analysis will be conducted to see if further changes are needed.

Three people have been killed at that intersection over an eight-week period.

In a news release, the town says this option minimizes the impact to Sylvan Lake businesses and emergency response services.

“Both Alberta Transportation and Sylvan Lake agreed that action must occur as soon as possible to avoid any further incidents at this intersection,” said Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson. “We are very pleased that immediate action is going to be taken.”

The town reports that the full closure of the intersection will occur at some point based on growth and traffic volumes in the area. People would then not be able to enter town via 50th Street.

Some residents are calling for traffic lights to be installed there immediately instead.

Alberta Transportation agreed to financially support the extension and paving of Memorial Trail from Hwy 20 to Range Road 15, ensuring local access to Hwy 11. Design for this expansion will begin immediately, with construction slated to begin in the spring of 2012.

“I’m very pleased Alberta Transportation and the town worked together to come up with a solution to improve safety at this intersection,” said Luke Ouellette, minister of Alberta Transportation and MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake. “The safe and efficient movement of people and goods in the Sylvan Lake area benefits everyone.”

The town reports that installing lights at the intersection was “heavily considered” by both parties.

However, traffic volumes, the availability of nearby controlled intersections and the future growth plans would “not be the fastest or most ideal solution.”