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Improvements coming to dangerous Red Deer County intersection

Highway 595 and Range Road 262 has seen numerous collisions since 2014
This vehicle was rear-ended and the driver injured on March 7, 2023 at the intersection of Highway 595 and Range Road 262, one of at least eight collisions at the site since 2014. Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors is improving safety with new signs and a centre line rumble strip. (Photo contributed)

Improvements have been made near a destination Red Deer County intersection with more upgrades to come.

County Coun. Lonny Kennett has led efforts for safety upgrades to the intersection at Highway 595 and Range Road 262, about six km east of Red Deer. After going public with local concerns, he received a petition from more than 50 area residents calling for changes to make the intersection safer.

Kennett proposed a successful notice of motion at the Aug. 8 council meeting asking administration to prepare a report on what could be done to improve safety.

On Tuesday, council heard that Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors had completed a road safety review of the intersection in June. That review showed that there had been at least eight crashes, including a number of rear-end collisions, reported at the location since 2014.

“(Alberta Transportation’s) safety review focused on concerns regarding reduced visibility of the intersection due to a crest curve in the road and the lack of visual clues to motorists about an upcoming intersection, such as turning lanes or highway widening,” says a report to council from county construction manager Chris Black.

Provincial road engineers recommended signs be posted warning of a concealed intersection with additional signs warning of an intersection closer to it. A rumble strip reminding drivers that passing it is not allowed at the spot is also coming. Those improvements will be completed this month.

Longer term, the province plans to upgrade the intersection with turning and merging lanes on the highway. A timeline has not been set for those upgrades.

Kennett’s notice of motion also called for more visits to the area by county patrol.

“Patrol was consulted and confirmed that they are in the process of conducting periodic, strategic enforcement in this area,” says the county report.

Kennett said he was pleased to see steps taken to make the area safer for drivers.

“This is not your average intersection,” he said. “There’s something about it that makes people not pay attention.”

Kennett said intersection signs are already in place. “I’m hopeful this will make somewhat of a difference.”

Council accepted the report for information and also directed that the intersection be monitored to see if the changes had made it safer.

Council also approved a reduction in speed limit to 60 km/h from 80 km/h on Township Road 374, west of the C&E Trail. Kennett had drawn attention to that short stretch of road that links to the Trestle Estates and Midnight Sun subdivisions in another notice of motion calling for action.

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Paul Cowley

About the Author: Paul Cowley

Paul grew up in Brampton, Ont. and began his journalism career in 1990 at the Alaska Highway News in Fort. St. John, B.C.
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