Freeway access plan protested

Lacombe County has raised the red flag about parts of the province’s plan to eliminate access to Hwy 2 as part of a long-range plan to create a freeway.

Lacombe County has raised the red flag about parts of the province’s plan to eliminate access to Hwy 2 as part of a long-range plan to create a freeway.

One of the major changes proposed would see the Duckett Road access eliminated just north of Lacombe. To funnel the traffic to the highway, a service road is proposed that would hook up to Fairview Road and on to Hwy 12.

The service road work would cost an estimated $11 million, far less than the $32.7 million cost of an underpass and the $24.9 million bill for an overpass. The numbers are included in a draft report presented to the county for comment.

County manager of operations Phil Lodermeier said it is assumed the province will go for the service road option. But the county is concerned that the province does not intend to pave the route.

Lodermeier said the county plans to negotiate with the province to see if it can trade construction work by its own crews in return for a provincial paving job.

The county also wants the road to run more parallel to Hwy 2 than the route currently proposed, which includes a 90-degree turn that could pose a safety risk.

Lodermeier said while the province’s freeway plans will make it more inconvenient to get to the highway, it will improve safety by funnelling traffic to interchanges.

Council also expressed concern with a plan to eliminate the access to the former Grumpy’s truck stop on the west side of the highway.

A public open house on the freeway plans has been set for Oct. 28 at the Lacombe County building on Hwy 12.

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