Construction continues on the Hwy 2 and Gaetz Avenue interchange in south Red Deer. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

Alberta Transportation says QEII construction in south Red Deer on schedule and on budget

Though Hwy 2 at the south of Red Deer has been a construction zone for almost two years, officials say the project is on track and on budget.

The project, estimated to cost $80 million, began in September 2016 and Wayne Wood, Alberta Transportation communications advisor, said the interchange will be fully open to traffic by the end of 2018.

“There will be some finishing work for the spring of 2019 including abutments and landscaping,” he said.

When completed, the interchange between Hwy 2 and Gaetz Avenue, 19th Street and Hwy 2A (Taylor Drive) will be completely realigned.

Recently Taylor Drive was closed in the evenings for about a week. By July 30, the demolition of the old northbound Hwy 2 bridge was complete.

Wood highlighted other recent steps in the major infrastructure project including the opening of the Leva Avenue roundabout, now the main access to Gasoline Alley for southbound Hwy 2 traffic; a section of the new collector/distributor road along Hwy 2 within Gasoline Alley is complete; the concrete deck for the Gaetz Avenue flyover has been mostly poured and crews are working to complete abutments; and work continues on the three remaining bridges on Hwy 2A beyond Taylor Drive.

“Overall the project remains on time and on budget and will be fully open to traffic by the end of 2018,” he said.

When completed, the project will include three lanes in each direction of Hwy 2 between McKenzie Road and 32nd Street; three reconstructed bridges and two new bridges that carry Gaetz Avenue and Taylor Drive traffic over and under the highway; a reduction in the bend in Hwy 2 between Gaetz Avenue and Taylor Drive to improve safety and new collector-distributor roads and the east and west sides of the highway.

Alberta Transportation wants to remind motorists to obey all signs and speed limits for the safety of motorists and construction crews. The active construction zone has a posted speed limit of 80 km/h.

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