Sunday , June 20 2021

Terwillegar Expressway receives green light from Edmonton board



A decades-long wish for many people living in southwestern Edmonton is closer to reality.

Friday, the city council of Edmonton gave way to transform the Terwillegar Drive into an expressway.

The Board voted 11-2 to take on a bit more than $ 112 million in debt to pay for the bill, after the Coun. Tim Cartmell presented an amendment to the city's proposed $ 4.3 billion capital budget.

Coun. Aaron Paquette and Mike Nickel voted against lending money for the project.

The municipal administration did not reserve money in the main capital budget, but listed it as a potentially debt-financed project.

It is estimated that the planning and the project cost about $ 13 million, and in about a year, Cartmell expects the project to be ready for launch.

He expects the high capacity expressway to be complete in approximately four years.

The project will expand the road to four lanes in each direction, widen the intersections, possibly add smart signals and dedicated traffic lanes.

Coun. Tim Cartmell calls the Terwillegar expressway a vital project for the entire city. (CBC)

Coun. Tim Cartmell pressed for the project to finally materialize, especially before Edmonton annexed about six miles of land south of Leduc County.

"If we do not start improving this corridor now, when will we start?" Cartmell asked. "So this is a vital project for this city."

Cartmell had a copy of the Edmonton City Transportation Plan of 1974.

He noted that many of the plan's designs were built.

"Terwillegar Drive is now the same as it was back then – a series of temporary roads."

"I've only waited 25 years, but I have neighbors who have waited more than that."

For years, the proposal has been debated and seen at times as an overbuild.

Mayor Don Iveson said the exchange with Whitemud was always perceived as a complicated area, but a Terwillegar Drive Project Plan This year's end may be the key to dealing with security and congestion issues.

"[It’s] the opportunity not only to create a car hopper but a multimodal transport corridor, "Iveson said.

Cartmell compared the project's debt to a 25-year mortgage. This translates into a tax increase of about 0.4%, from 2022, when the expressway is completed.

Summarized budget

The Board also approved several other capital projects on Friday.

  • $ 16 million for the Coronation Community Recreation Center, as requested by Coun. Bev Esslinger
  • $ 27.5 million to fund the project to upgrade the LRT Stadium Station with 50% funding from the Alberta Community Transit Fund and 50% debt financing
  • $ 3 million for design and planning for the 40th Avenue LRT station in Capital Line, with 40% of ACTF and 60% of debt

@natashariebe


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