CN opposes realignment plan

CN opposition has derailed a proposal to realign 50th Avenue in downtown Sylvan Lake.

CN opposition has derailed a proposal to realign 50th Avenue in downtown Sylvan Lake.

The town was looking at moving a short stretch of the avenue a few metres further south on the east side of Centennial Street (50th Street). By shifting the road into what is now a parking lot, the avenue could be aligned with 50th Avenue on the other side of Centennial Street.

The scheme was suggested as part of program to spruce up the downtown core with more trees and other upgrades.

However, The railway company does not support the realignment because the intersection would encroach on a minimum 30-metre setback from a rail crossing required in its standards. While the west side of 50th Avenue also doesn’t meet that standard, it has been grandfathered because the avenue has long run next to the tracks.

Transport Canada has final say on the road alignment, but it is unlikely it will approve the application without CN’s support, said town planner Kim Devlin.

Council agreed with a staff recommendation to not go ahead with an application and instead consider other options.

Among the choices is to leave the area as it is, which requires vehicles travelling on 50th Avenue to make a jog at Centennial Street before continuing east or west.

A right-in and right-out configuration was considered, and rejected, by the Centennial Street Steering Committee.

Some merit is seen in a third option, which would angle the east side of 50th Avenue to take out the turns now required to cross Centennial Street.

Devlin said the committee will review options and expects to bring recommendations back to council on April 28. A public open house to showcase designs will likely be held in early May.

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