This map shows the plan for construction on Taylor Drive.

This map shows the plan for construction on Taylor Drive.

Taylor Drive re-alignment on schedule

The $20-million Taylor Drive and Ross Street facelift is right on schedule.

The $20-million Taylor Drive and Ross Street facelift is right on schedule.

In May, the City of Red Deer embarked on one of its biggest and most disruptive construction projects in recent years.

Detour roads were constructed and streets closed as contract and city crews got down to business.

When finished for the year in October, the Taylor Drive and Ross Street junction will be transformed into a system of three-legged intersections.

City of Red Deer Engineering Services director Frank Colosimo said on Thursday that the old intersection was failing during peak hours and was only going to get worst.

“We knew if we didn’t do anything to the intersection, we would likely have to do a couple of ugly things,” said Colosimo. “One was triple lane Taylor Drive Bridge because we would have to put in a triple left turn lane to accommodate all the northbound Taylor Drive traffic, which we didn’t want to do.”

Colosimo said they hope by simplifying the intersection, there will be more greens for traffic in both directions on Taylor Drive. The project should also delay any conversation about adding lanes on Taylor Drive.

Colosimo said the timing was right this year because of failing road surface, ongoing issues with capacity, development of Riverlands, lack of pedestrian crossings and growth of the city.

Under the old four-legged scheme, motorists primarily would use the Ross Street to Taylor Drive route to travel north. An estimated 30,000 vehicles travel on Taylor Drive every day.

The new and improved version will allow the free flow of travel in all directions.

One of the biggest changes will be to 54th Avenue, which was part of the previous intersection. Motorists will no longer be able to travel east on Ross Street from 54th Avenue, but there will be access on and off Taylor Drive.

A new three-metre asphalt pathway will align both sides of Taylor Drive as part of the project. Pedestrians will no longer have to backtrack or cross traffic illegally in order to move about in the area.

Colosimo said they do not normally put sidewalks on the both sides of the road but because of the uniqueness of the area with heavy commercial use and planned redevelopment, they expect the demand for pedestrians on both sides.

For the first time in the city, trees will be planted in the median on Taylor Drive from 45th Street to just before the bridge.

Colosimo said this is something he hopes to see more of on the city’s arterial roads in future years.

Connections to the soon-to-be-developed Riverlands, Railyards and Historic Downtown will also be in place.

Colosimo said the city explored putting in a roundabout but concluded it would not work because of heavy traffic during peak hours. He said it would create an unbalanced flow and not give enough capacity during the non-peak hours.

“It was never an option we could do,” said Colosimo.

All the infrastructure will be wrapped up by October, including the installation of the new signal lights, sidewalks and roads. The landscaping will be completed next year. Between 20 and 50 city and contract workers are on the job every day.

City engineer Wayne Gustafson said the project is on budget and on schedule.

“This road that we are using is a temporary bypass road, which is the old Ross (Street). End of August, beginning of September they are going to close that and they are going to open up the new Ross here and bring traffic into the bypass road using the new road.

“What that will allow them to do to is finish works along that edge unimpeded. They will see a traffic pattern change when they move traffic onto this road to get them on the bypass road to allow them to do the work along that north edge,” Gustafson said.

The public can stay up to date on the project by visiting www.reddeer.ca/constructionseason or calling the Taylor Drive hotline at 403-406-8796.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Traffic will be delayed on 40th Avenue and 19th Street until the end of February. (Advocate file photo).
Traffic delays expected downtown this weekend

Red Deer drivers will be delayed in the downtown area of the… Continue reading

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, top, is shown on the bench after NHL action against the Clagary Flames  in Calgary, Alta., Thursday April 9, 2015. Sutter says he has "unfinished business" as he returns to coach the Calgary Flames. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Darryl Sutter has ‘unfinished business’ in return to Calgary Flames

Darryl Sutter has ‘unfinished business’ in return to Calgary Flames

Walter Gretzky talks to people while at the funeral of Celtic music legend John Allan Cameron at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Pickering, Ont., Monday, Nov. 27, 2006. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘A legend in his own right’: Hockey world pays tribute to the late Walter Gretzky

‘A legend in his own right’: Hockey world pays tribute to the late Walter Gretzky

Jordan Spieth follows his approach shot to the ninth green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Friday, March 5, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Conners builds 1-shot lead at Bay Hill as McIlroy lurks

Conners builds 1-shot lead at Bay Hill as McIlroy lurks

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue makes a shot as he plays Team Ontario at the Brier in Calgary, Alta., Friday, March 5, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Brier in the Bubble: Defending champion Gushue beats Epping in opening draw

Brier in the Bubble: Defending champion Gushue beats Epping in opening draw

Switzerland's celebrates after the final match at the Women's Curling World Championship in Silkeborg Denmark Sunday March 24. 2019. The 2021 world women's curling championship is back on the curling calendar. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ritzau Scanpix - Henning Bagger
Women’s world curling championship back on calendar, added to Calgary bubble

Women’s world curling championship back on calendar, added to Calgary bubble

A guard stands outside the gates of an immigrant holding centre in Laval, Que., Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Several men at a Montreal-area immigration detention refused food this week as part of a protest aimed at drawing attention to what they say are inhumane conditions and to secure their release.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Montreal-area immigration detainees on hunger strike over COVID-19 fears

Montreal-area immigration detainees on hunger strike over COVID-19 fears

Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan takes part in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Sajjan aide emailed military ombudsman about allegations days after meeting in 2018

Sajjan aide emailed military ombudsman about allegations days after meeting in 2018

Most Read