The intersection at Hwy 20 and Erickson Drive will soon see a roundabout to help with the noticeable traffic congestion there. Photo Courtesy of Google Maps

Sylvan Lake spending $2 million to upgrade busy intersection

The intersection at Erickson Drive and Hwy 20 will see improvements this construction season

Sylvan Lake town council has approved the reallocation of more than $1 million to upgrade a busy intersection.

Council had previously budgeted $1.2 million for the project at the intersection of Highway 20 and Erickson Drive.

The intersection, which features a Tim Hortons on one corner and many industrial businesses along Erickson Drive, tends to become easily congested.

Town staff noted that vehicles travelling on Highway 20 ignore signs telling motorists not to pass vehicles on the right at the intersection, while vehicles exiting onto Highway 20 have difficulties merging.

The town worked with McElhanney Engineering to determine how best to improve the intersection.

“After performing a traffic warrant study, and consulting with Alberta Transportation and the Town of Sylvan Lake, it was decided that a single-lane roundabout treatment, with the ability to be expanded into a two-lane roundabout, was the preferred option for upgrading the intersection,” project manager Eric Boudreau said at this week’s council meeting.

A detailed design was presented to Alberta Transportation earlier this year and staff were told the intersection must have a 40-year lifespan.

This requirement delayed the tendering of the project by three months and increased its cost by $660,000, said Boudreau.

Council has awarded the project to Pidherney’s Inc. from Blackfalds, which expects to complete the project within 90 work days.

The company has requested to work through the night on the project, saying the more complicated construction items will be less likely to disturb traffic patterns during non-peak times.

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