The province is spending $12.5 million on upgrades to Highway 28 in an effort to ease some of the pains the Anthony Henday is bringing along with it.
Construction has been under way on the highway since early June with the aim of adding one southbound lane and making significant upgrades to the intersection at Sturgeon Road.
As part of the construction of Anthony Henday Drive, access to the Edmonton Garrison from Highway 28 will close when the freeway opens in 2011.
Sturgeon County is doing significant upgrades to 195 Avenue, which is expected to see a dramatic increase in traffic. The changes to the highway should also ease some pressures.
Ryan Kohlenberg, an urban construction engineer with Alberta Transportation, said they are hoping to improve the intersection at Sturgeon Road because it will see a lot more traffic.
“It is going to be widened and some additional turning lanes are going to be put in there.”
He said, in the morning hours, they expect most traffic into the base to use 195 Avenue coming from Edmonton, but at the end of the day they expect it to flow out of the Sturgeon Road intersection.
“A lot of the traffic will leave the base and come into Edmonton that way.”
Kohlenberg said the northbound lanes weren’t twinned largely because they don’t expect the same pressure and there is not yet room to do so.
“There isn’t enough land to twin the northbound lane on the east side of the highway to accommodate twinning both lanes right now.”
The province is studying the idea of further expanding the highway with the ultimate goal of full interchanges at both Sturgeon Road and Highway 37.
Eventually the road will be eight lanes across from the Edmonton city limits to Highway 37 and four lanes north from there to secondary highway 642.
Those plans were shown to the public last week as part of an ongoing public consultation on the long-term plan for the highway, but the plan doesn’t envision doing much of that work for 15 to 20 years.
The consulting firm is expected to put its recommendations on the final design to Alberta Transportation later this year.
Kohlenberg said much of the construction is going to eventually be incorporated into the larger plan when it is built.
He said this phase of construction is expected to be complete by mid-August.