The new interchange at Highway 2, Gaetz Avenue and Taylor Drive is on budget and on schedule to open to traffic late next year.
Alberta Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason stopped in Red Deer Monday afternoon to tour the site with local media and dignitaries. Mason said the three-year project is a critical one for Red Deerians and Central Albertans ensuring connectivity and market accessibility.
“It’s a complex project so you expect bumps but we have been able to maintain the constructions schedule,” said Mason.
Work began on the major $80-million project in 2016. The project includes replacing two existing bridges with four new bridges, reconfiguration of ramps and intersections, realignment of Hwy 2, expansion to six lanes between 32nd Street and McKenzie Road and the construction of new collector-distributor roads.
About 300 jobs were created as a result of the project.
Scott Robinson, chief executive officer for 2019 Canada Winter Games, said the overhaul of the roadway is an important one given that the Games will host more than 20,000 visitors.
“It was a bit of a dangerous intersection in the past, and it’s important to have a safe corridor,” said Robinson.
Joel Ward, Red Deer College president said the revamped intersection will make a huge difference for all the athletes who will travel to the city in the spring of 2019, along with the thousands of guests. Ward said Red Deer will no longer be known as a quick stop between Edmonton and Calgary.
“Red Deer is in its own way starting to assert itself as a community of the future, and this project really demonstrates the government’s commitment of what we are trying to do here,” said Ward.
Some of the work completed in 2017 includes construction and opening of the new northbound and southbound lanes along Highway 2, widening of the existing Highway 2, and grading of the roundabout at Leva Avenue among others.
Some of the work scheduled for 2018 includes demolition of the old northbound Highway 2 bridge over Taylor Drive, construction of the new southbound Highway 2 bridge over Taylor Drive, opening of the roundabout at Leva Avenue and opening of the permanent alignment for Gaetz Avenue northbound.
For more details on the project visit www.transportation.alberta.ca/5969.htm.