Edmonton

Expressway a 'sweet spot' for fixing Terwillegar traffic troubles, councillor says

Residents of Terwillegar have had plenty to say about the traffic troubles they experience getting in and out of the neighbourhood. On Wednesday afternoon, the city is giving them a chance to speak up about a proposal to settle things down.

Public invited to review $300M concept to solve south Edmonton roadway issues

Public invited to review proposed $300 million expressway concept for Terwillegar Drive on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 4 to 8 p.m. at St. Thomas More Parish, 210 Haddow Close. (CBC)

Residents in southwest Edmonton have had plenty to say about the traffic troubles they experience on Terwillegar Drive getting in and out of their neighbourhoods.

Wednesday afternoon, the city is giving them a chance to speak up about a proposal to settle things down.

A drop-in session will allow residents and other interested Edmontonians to check out the details of a proposed $300-million proposal to turn Terwillegar Drive into an expressway with four lanes in each direction, dedicated bus lanes and a multi-use path for cyclists and pedestrians.

"In many of the intersections, there's really only one through-lane at rush hour. One lane is consumed by turn movements," Coun. Tim Cartmell said Wednesday on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

"This will give us at least three through-lanes plus turn space at every intersection and really include improve flow-through."

The proposed expressway concept is a cheaper, faster alternative to the freeway concept that was first considered. The six-lane freeway would have had free-flowing traffic, interchanges and a $1.2-billion price tag. It would also have taken 30 years to build.

The expressway concept was approved by city council in December.

"This represents actually a very good sweet spot," Cartmell said. "This is going to add the capacity that we need to meet the demand today and for the next 10 to 15 years, without overbuilding and overspending on big infrastructure."

The dedicated bus lane has potential to be a huge improvement over the "current car-only opportunity that people have right now."

In the morning peak rush, for example, there would be two bus routes.

One would stop at each of the four main crossings between Anthony Henday Drive and Whitemud Drive — Haddow Drive, 23rd Avenue, Rabbit Hill Road and 40th Avenue — then proceed on to South Campus.

The other route would start in Ambleside, stop at 23rd Avenue, and then go straight to South Campus.

"With the addition of a park-and-ride lot south of the Henday, you could find yourself on a bus and connecting into the LRT less than 15 minutes later," he said.

The open house takes place Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Thomas More Parish, 210 Haddow Close.

For more information, see details of the city's proposal here.