A new safety barrier will bebuilt next month along a deadly stretch of Calgary's Deerfoot Trail, the Alberta governmenthas announced.
The northern section of thetrail has been the scene of numerous crashes over the years. In many of the accidents, drivers lose control of their vehicles, cross the grass median and slam into oncoming traffic.
On Saturday, a 44-year-old man died in a similar crash when his car hit an SUV head on. The medical examiner believes the driver suffered a seizure that caused him to lose control of his car.
'It should be named Deadfoot, not Deerfoot.' -Ward 3 Ald. Helene Larocque
Calgary city council has long lobbied the province, which has jurisdiction over the road, to improve safety on the northern stretch of the Deerfoot.
"It should be named Deadfoot, not Deerfoot," Ward 3 Ald. Helene Larocque told CBC News. "It's so dangerous you take your life into your hands if you risk driving on that road."
The province had promised to build a fence earlier this year, but said the $1.6-million project hit some snags before going to tender last fall.
"This is brand new to Alberta —we've never used a system like this on a road before. Subsequently we wanted to make sure we did it right,"said Trent Bancarz, a spokesman forAlberta Infrastructure and Transportation.
Jack Brown, spokesman for contractor Volker-Stevin, said the 11-kilometre barrier will be a post-and-cable system.
"Should a vehicle hit the cable system, it will stop it from going into the oncoming lanes," he said.
The style of barrier is widely used in Europe and the U.S., but it's the first time it has been used in Alberta.
Work on the barrier is scheduled to begin Jan. 9 and should be completed in May.