Alberta Transportation will not pay the estimated $2.2 million needed to upgrade three intersections in Sylvan Lake that are recommended in a traffic impact study.
The original $4.5 million Memorial Trail project, approved in 2010, includes constructing a two-lane rural cross-section roadway that will go from 60th Street east to Hwy 20, and will still go ahead. The work is expected to be completed during this construction season.
The town was required to commission a transportation impact analysis as part of the project. The reported showed upgrades were necessary for three intersections impacted by Memorial Trail.
Those upgrades were not part of the original project.
But Mayor Susan Samson said the province’s refusal to fund the entire project is moving the problem from one area to the next.
“We’re very concerned,” said Samson.
“The intersections need to be part of this package. We are very concerned about the public safety in these areas. That’s the whole reason why Hwy 781 and Hwy 11 were (re-)configured to keep the motoring public safe and including our residents.”
Alberta Transportation spokesperson Russell Watts confirmed the province does not have the additional funding to move forward with the upgrades to surrounding infrastructure that were not in the original plans.
The three intersections in question are at Memorial Trail and Hwy 20, at Hwy 11 and Hwy 20, and 50th Street (Main Street) and Memorial Trail. Later this month, town council will meet with Transportation Minister Ric McIver in Edmonton to plead their case.
“They were the ones who put the right-in, right-out (configuration) that is creating these other problems that pop up,” said Samson.
“We can’t look at each piece in isolation and say we’re not going this and we’re not doing that, because it creates an unsafe environment for the travelling public.”
Samson said the intersection that concerns them greatly is at Hwy 20 and Memorial Trail because of the sight lines, the speed and the volume of traffic that we are anticipating at that intersection.
“That intersection has to be upgraded without any doubt in the town’s mind,” said Samson.