Roundabout construction expected to start later this summer

Work to improve safety at one of the highest collision intersections in Red Deer is underway.

Work to improve safety at one of the highest collision intersections in Red Deer is underway.

The construction of the modern roundabout at 67th Street and Johnstone Drive/Orr Drive is expected to get started later this summer.

As part of the estimated $11 million 67th Street Corridor project, the city wants to make additional changes to the 66th Street and Orr Drive intersection.

The design will be finalized once the negotiations with impacted landowners are concluded. One option is to put in another smaller roundabout.

David Nash, Mohave Smokehouse & Bar general manager, is opposed to both roundabouts. He said the roundabouts may actually cause more collisions. Nash is also worried about losing access to his business on 6608 Orr Drive.

The new traffic plan will feature a right out or south bound turn, eliminating the existing right in and right out options for businesses on Orr Drive including Tim Hortons and Mohave Grill.

Nash is starting a petition calling on the city to reverse its decision.

Engineer Services manager Wayne Gustafson said the improvements will help accommodate growth and improve traffic flow.

“When you look at that (67th Street) intersection, it’s a very busy intersection,” he said. “Due to safety reasons and the amount of traffic there has to be some changes to the Tim Hortons access on the east side of the property. That will become a right out only. The roundabout allows better circular traffic to provide best circulation to the businesses in that area.”

Gustafson said the city is working with businesses to address concerns.

“But I will not compromise overall safety for people,” he said. “That’s a busy intersection. The roundabout on 67th Street and Orr Drive provides the long-term solution for that particular intersection.”

He said the work on the 67th Street and Johnstone Drive/Orr Drive roundabout is the priority this year.

crhyno@www.reddeeradvocate.com

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