A graphic rendering of how the Highway 2 and Highway 12 interchange looks now and how it could look under a dramatic upgrade proposed to be completed in the next three decades. (Image from City of Lacombe)

Traffic lights urged for Highway 2 interchange near Lacombe

City and County of Lacombe say traffic lights needed to improve safety at Highway 12

Lacombe city and county are urging the province to move soon on installing traffic lights at the Highway 2 and Highway 12 interchange.

Traffic lights have been proposed in the first phase of improvements to the interchange as part of a proposal to dramatically change the interchange in a project that would not be complete until 2050-60. The traffic lights are slated to be done in 2025.

Lacombe city council recently directed administration to send a letter to Culture Minister and Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr to show its support for expediting a functional planning study needed before interchange upgrades can get underway.

Castleglenn Consultants, which has an office in Calgary, provided council with a presentation on a long-term project to turn the interchange into what is known as a “diverging diamond interchange,” an intricate design meant to move traffic on and off both highways efficiently and safely.

An interchange of this kind was built at Macleod Trail and 162nd Ave. in Calgary in 2017.

In its letter to Orr, city council says it fully supports the diverging diamond interchange “which is a novel solution that should prove beneficial to travellers on both highways.

“There are serious accidents at this location every year, and given current and future traffic levels, these signals are desperately needed. Delaying this project until 2025 represents another three years of traffic flowing through an intersection that has proven hazardous to motorists,” says the letter.

“Alberta Transportation recently confirmed with city staff that Stage 1 of this project is currently not in the Government of Alberta’s three-year funding plan. Please accept this letter as our request that funding for these improvements, estimated at $700,000 in the report, be a priority for Alberta Transportation.”

Council also requested a review of the sight lines for northbound traffic turning west at the interchange.

“The current location of the information sign impedes the view of drivers operating large trucks, which are frequent users of the intersection.”

Lacombe County council also voiced its support for getting the traffic lights installed and for the necessary study to be done as soon as possible.

A report to council providing background says “this location has a number of serious accidents each year and with the current and future traffic levels these traffic lights are crucial to public safety.”

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