Traffic signals could be coming to dangerous intersection
Foothills: MD and Province negotiating cost for lights at Dunbow Road, Macleod Trail
Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 10:23 am
The MD of Foothills get some relief on its top transportation priority this year, but it may have to wait for help from the provincial government on other key projects.
Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver, who was in Okotoks on March 22, said traffic signals could be going up at the intersection of Dunbow Road and Highway 2A (Macleod Trail) this year if the Province and MD of Foothills can reach a cost-sharing agreement for the project.
“I think there’s a possibility, but we have some negotiations to complete,” said McIver after a speaking appearance at a lunch hosted by the Highwood Progressive Conservative Constituency Association.
He said the MD and Province are still working to determine how much the project will cost and the two are negotiating how much each side will pay for the project.
Construction could proceed if negotiations can be wrapped up quickly, said McIver.
“It depends on how fast we can dot the i’s and cross the t’s,” he said.
The traffic signals are at the top of the MD’s list of transportation priorities for provincial highways in the Foothills.
The Province agreed signals were warranted at the intersection next to Heritage Pointe after months of prodding from the MD. Preliminary estimates provided by the municipality in January stated the project could cost between $300,000 and $400,000.
Priority number two is to widen the bridge over Fish Creek on Highway 22, next to the intersection with Priddis Valley Road. The MD’s third priority is to get the Province to make improvements to the intersection of Highway 2 and Secondary Highway 540, widening the median and build longer acceleration/deceleration lanes at the site. As well, conditions on Secondary Highway 762 have deteriorated in recent years, including two years ago when sections of the road dropped by several inches causing a serious traffic hazard.
Provincial funding has not been announced for any of the projects.
Detailed designs are completed for the Priddis bridge, but McIver said it is not in the Province’s three-year construction plan.
He did reveal two other bridges in the Foothills that will see improvements.
The Province will rehabilitate two bridges over the Highwood River, including one on Highway 2A in High River and on Secondary Highway 547, east of the Aldersyde overpass.
Alberta Transportation spokesperson Nancy Beasley Hosker said improvements to the intersection at Secondary Highway 540 and Highway 2 is on the provincial radar, but not funded. She said the Province still needs to buy land to widen the median at the site.
MD Coun. Suzanne Oel said replacing the bridge on Highway 22 is a much higher priority for the MD than repairing Secondary Highway 762.
Oel said widening the bridge will ease a critical pinch point for traffic on Highway 22.
With high speeds and a sudden change from a four-lane highway to two, she said the bridge and intersection with Priddis Valley Road on Highway 22 is a perfect recipe for collisions. She said there is nowhere for people to pass vehicles making a left-hand turn.
“The problem we are encountering, and many of us have experienced, is (when) you slow down to turn left, someone will pass you on the left side,” she said. “Even if you have your signal on to turn left, they still will pass you.”
Oel said the Province has agreed there is a need for upgrades at the site, including widening the bridge and adding turning lanes at the intersection with Priddis Valley Road, but so far it hasn’t come forward with any funds for the work.
“It’s been on the plan for a number of years and there just wasn’t a lot of advocacy from the Province before,” she said.
As for Secondary Highway 762, Oel said repairs to the section of the road seem to be holding and may be adequate for now.
She said it will be a big project to rebuild the road and temporary repairs to the road may be adequate until there is more money for a full repair.
“Certainly I would like to see (Secondary Highway) 762 get addressed, I think folks want to make sure that it stays safe,” said Oel.
Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier agreed the Province needs to come through with support for the MD’s infrastructure priorities.
He said he met with McIver in December, where he discussed the need for improvements on Secondary Highway 762.
Stier also agreed something needs to be done to make the Priddis bridge safer.
“By all means there needs to be a total improvement there, I’m just grinding my teeth when making a left (turn) to head southbound on Priddis Valley Road,” he said.