Red Deer City council has given the green light for improvements to take place at the intersection of 32 St. and Spruce Dr.
City council was given three options as to how they could proceed with improvements along 32 St.
Those options included leaving the street as is, doing limited capacity improvements which did not require tree removal, limited capacity improvements which require the removal of three trees at Spruce Dr. and a full build out of all intersections along 32 St. which would see the removal of 15 mature elm trees along the street.
“I speak in favour of the least tree removal possible,” said Councillor Cindy Jefferies.
Ultimately council voted in favour of doing limited capacity improvements at Spruce Dr.
This will see a new westbound-to-northbound right turn lane constructed at Spruce Dr. Three mature trees will have to be removed from the area.
Jefferies added she believes there should be public consultation regarding the intersection change before council makes a final decision.
“The first public consultation on this was in 2003 and 2004 so there has been a considerable time delay,” said Jefferies. “People might think that this wasn’t on the plate. The lay of the land has changed. I don’t want to say to the public ‘sorry if you weren’t paying attention’.”
She also suggested the City look at a roundabout at the intersection of 32 St. and Spruce Dr. to help ease traffic congestion.
“I don’t want to do something that doesn’t meet the current or future needs of the City,” she said.
The improvements to the intersection were approved by City council. Jefferies and Councillor Buck Buchanan voted against the motion.
In addition, Councillor Larry Pimm said he could remember talks of putting three lanes on each side down 32 St.
“It horrified me,” he said. “That would damage two communities and we would be putting a freeway in between them.
“I think this solution will help the traffic move and it will relieve the pressure.”