Red Deer drivers be warned.
Sections of Taylor Drive will be closed in the coming weeks and months as work progresses on the $20-million, two-year project designed in part to improve safety at the Taylor Drive and Ross Street intersection.
The improvements to Taylor Drive will facilitate connected roadways between Railyards, Riverlands and the Historic Downtown, make the area more pedestrian friendly and address the increasing traffic flow.
For the first time, the city has set up a Taylor Drive telephone hotline to ease the traffic headaches.
Motorists can dial 403-406-8796 to hear a weekly recorded progress report, including information about road closures.
Callers can hit ‘1’ if they need to speak to someone about more specific details. “We recognize there is approximately anywhere from 30,000 vehicles at peak times during any time of the day using (Taylor Drive and Ross Street) as a commuter route,” said Tara Shand, the city’s communications team lead on construction projects.
“And we recognize that there is a lot of businesses who might want information because it is right in their backyard. It’s just another way to communicate.”
Crews are building a temporary bypass road along the east side of Taylor Drive from Kerry Wood Drive to 45th Street.
The detour road, to be completed by the end of May, will allow for one lane of traffic in each direction.
Road closures and detours are expected to begin as early as next week and will be in effect until September. All work and scheduling depends on the weather.
“Much of the Taylor Drive intersection as it exists will close down for most of the summer,” said Shand. “People coming out of the downtown will have access one way through across the bridge but you won’t have access from Kerry Wood Drive to the downtown. You will be rerouted on that bypass road and take 45th Street into the downtown.”
A construction website (www.reddeer.ca/constructionseason) is live, with new features to be rolled out in the coming weeks. It covers information on all the major construction projects and detour routes.
The $65 million worth of major projects include the $36-million 67th Street and 30th Avenue extension project and the $9.4 million improvements near 55th Street.
Motorists can also sign up for a weekly newsletter through the city’s construction website that will include schedules, progress, road closures and updates on the Taylor Drive project.