Council endorses plan for south entrance into city

City officials are hopeful a project to upgrade the south entrance into Red Deer is inked into the provincial budget. On Monday, council endorsed Alberta Transportation’s revised plan to upgrade the Hwy 2 and Gaetz Avenue interchange.

City officials are hopeful a project to upgrade the south entrance into Red Deer is inked into the provincial budget.

On Monday, council endorsed Alberta Transportation’s revised plan to upgrade the Hwy 2 and Gaetz Avenue interchange.

The new plan proposes a single lane north bound exit from Hwy 2 that ultimately provides three lanes into the city – two lanes northbound onto Gaetz Avenue and one lane onto 19th Street and Taylor Drive.

The city has been working with the province on the issue since 2010 after a functional planning study was conducted in 2009.

Alberta Transportation’s original plan did not receive council approval because of concerns around the configuration, trail access and losing entry points into the city.

City manager Craig Curtis said the new design is a significant improvement for the interchange south of the city.

“It will provide for a better entrance into the city past the Westerner and it will also provide for an overpass that will bring traffic into the west side of Hwy 2 into the slow moving lane,” he said. “Presently it leads into the fast lane causing a potential conflict between slow moving and fast moving traffic. It’s a major safety concern.”

Mayor Tara Veer said the plan has some substantial improvements from what the city was presented with in 2010/2011.

Council was pleased that the new plan calls for more substantial directional signage into the city from all directions on the highway.

“That interchange is one of the highest areas of safety concerns both for the city and the county,” said Veer.

“Our citizens engage in the weave with highway traffic but also for citizens throughout Alberta. We know it is a priority for Alberta Transportation as it should be because of the significant safety concerns caused by an urban level of speed and competing with highway levels of speed at the interchange.”

The plan leaves the door open to build a single-lane south bound flyover from Gaetz Avenue onto Hwy 2 to allow for future expansion of two lanes. It will also leave space for future trail connections underneath the structures at Hwy 2A (Taylor Drive).

Curtis said in the future there will likely be some adjustments to the whole traffic situation on the east side of Hwy 2.

He said at least this will build the major piece of bridge infrastructure which is critical to resolving the traffic concerns on the west side.

Veer said the province is fully aware of the importance of having this project on the books in time for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. She said the project will likely be deferred to beyond 2019 if it does not make the provincial budget.

“We cannot be pre or mid construction in 2019,” said Veer.

“If construction is deferred and continues to be deferred because of the provincial economy then I think the city reserves the right to comment on the needs of the day. We are looking at a project that is four or six years out. The position of the council of the day may change.”

The city will also be keeping an eye on the budget for other key infrastructure projects including capital for a new courthouse, a decision on municipal land holding, funding for Red Deer College’s Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport and funding allocation to repurpose the Red Deer nursing home site for senior housing.

Just Posted

Despite warnings, plenty of temptations to thieves left in vehicles

Lock It or Lose It campaign still finding plenty of valuables left in plain sight

WATCH: Notley invites central Albertans to “team up” with New Democrats for equitable, prosperous future

NDP leader lashes out against her rival, Jason Kenney, calling him a cheater

Red Deer sees highest rate of fentanyl deaths

47 fentanyl-related deaths in 2018

Why Solar: Canada needs to get its collective house in order

Canada needs to get a grip. The country has one of the… Continue reading

Gardening: Take care when making plant purchases

After a cold February, the longer sunny days and warmer weather triggers… Continue reading

Canadian pair fifth after short program at figure skating worlds

SAITAMA, Japan — Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are fifth after… Continue reading

Director Kim Nguyen tackles financial ‘madness’ in ‘The Hummingbird Project’

TORONTO — As Quebec filmmaker Kim Nguyen tells it, “The Hummingbird Project”… Continue reading

What Disney gets as its $71.3B buy of Fox assets closes

It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Most Read