County Helps Fund Improvements to Stressed Highway 566 Intersection
Monday, February 25, 2019
Rocky View County Council has approved $900,000 to help fund improvements to the intersection at Highway 566 and Range Road 11, just west of Balzac.
The County and Alberta Transportation have agreed to a cost-sharing plan that would see the current four-way-stop intersection replaced with a traffic circle. The four-way-stop was installed in January of 2018 to help alleviate some of the congestion and safety concerns at the intersection, which has seen a 300 percent increase in traffic volume in the past few years.
“The stop sign approach was a stop-gap measure, and we’re very pleased to work with Alberta Transportation on a better, safer, and more permanent solution. Without this outstanding level of co-operation from the Province, we could not move forward,” says County Reeve Greg Boehlke.
Alberta Transportation, which is responsible for all highways and secondary highways in the province, will provide $2.7 million, or 75 percent, of the cost of the traffic circle project, with the County covering the rest.
Two-thirds of the County’s funding will come from a general reserve fund, with the remaining $300,000 coming from Transportation Off-Site Levies. These levies are collected on new development to help fund improvements and upgrades to regional road infrastructure, in order to offset the impacts of development in and around the County.
“Every municipality in the province has projects it wants to see Alberta Transportation complete. The County’s Transportation Off-Site Levies allow us to provide funding that helps increase the likelihood that our needed infrastructure improvements can get done,” Boehlke says.
Although about 80 percent of the traffic at this intersection involves Airdrie residents, the County is helping fund the project as part of our commitment to sound regional planning, a strong regional transportation network, and our “good neighbour” approach to everything we do.
Scheduling and tendering for the project can begin now that funding is in place. Early estimates call for completion of the traffic circle by the fall of 2020.
“There will likely be some traffic delays next summer, but it will be short-term pain for long-term gain. In the end, we’ll have faster-flowing traffic, far less frustration, and – most importantly – a much safer intersection,” Boehlke says.