Officials with the City of Red Deer announced Monday they will begin three new road improvement projects for the summer of 2014.
The three projects include the extension and added roundabout to 67 St. and 30 Ave., the improvement of the downtown section of Taylor Dr. and the closure of 55 St. to replace outdated water and sanitary servicing below the road.
“In our province, summer might be known as road construction season, but it’s because we only have a few months to do what is needed and we want to do our best to help navigate the closures,” said City Manager Craig Curtis.
“So at this point I’d like to say it may not be easy, but it will be worth it.”
The City has asked all residents to be patient with the construction projects as well as to take the projects into consideration when planning routes and daily commutes.
The Taylor Dr. Improvement Project has already begun, with northbound traffic between 43 St. and the Taylor Dr. bridge down to one lane.
The project is set to accommodate future growth of the downtown and Riverlands area by providing better accessibility for pedestrians by adding new intersections, sidewalks and enhanced crossings.
With Taylor Dr. being one of the most used arterial routes in Red Deer, the City asks residents to attempt to avoid this high collision area during construction and use alternate routes. Even though there will be a temporary single lane bypass road it could easily become congested causing significant delays.
The improvement of Taylor Dr. will be phased in over two years and will also include the widening of 43 St. and a new, simpler intersection at Taylor Dr. and Ross St.
The 67 St. and 30 Ave. extension project will insert approximately 2 km of roadway onto 30 Ave. north as well as a one km extension of 67 St. east.
This project also includes the insertion of a roundabout in the bend of 67 St. and 30 Ave. near the Clearview and Timberlands areas.
The City stated that road closures on the existing 30 Ave. and 67 St. will be minimal with detour signs being posted in advance, however they still advise motorists to plan alternate routes around the construction.
This project will not be completed until July of 2015 and is intended to facilitate growth and development in northeast Red Deer, officials say.
A roundabout was chosen over a traditional intersection following a study done by the City which indentified several safety and operational benefits for this area which includes up to 80% fewer injuries and fatal collisions, reduced operating speeds and conflict points, as well as the required land area would be significantly less.
The 55 St. Improvement Project will involve the closure of 55 St. from 50 Ave. to 48 Ave. between approximately July 1st and Sept. 1st.
The closure of these roads will allow for the replacement of water and sanitary services that are over 60 years old in the area, which will allow for further growth and development of the Riverlands and Railyards.
The project will also add new sidewalks, pathways and a slight lane widening.
“These challenges are necessary if we are to make progress,” said Mayor Tara Veer.
“Projects like these are a result of responding to the needs and priorities determined by Red Deerians and we need to maximize on the short construction season if we are to meet the transportation needs of our community.”
The 55 St. project will total around $9.4 million with the Taylor Dr. project around $20 million and the 30 Ave./67 St. project around $36 million for a total of about $64 million.
“Construction is about to get underway or has just begun,” said Curtis. “We want to be sure our residents, drivers, pedestrians and business alike all know where we are working, when, and for how long.”
Residents can stay up to date with road closures by visiting www.reddeer.ca/constructionseason or by calling the Taylor Drive Hotline at 403-406-8796.