Push for second ring road around Edmonton hitting roadblocks

Watch above: The mayors of local cities and towns are already pitching a second ring road to deal with growing populations. As Laurel Gregory reports, the plan is hitting road blocks.

EDMONTON- Construction on the Anthony Henday is almost complete, but some mayors in the Capital Region think planning for building a second ring road should start now.

“If we don’t implement and have another ring road, it’s going to be further traffic congestion and have environmental impacts as well,” said Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec.

Shaigec is pushing to set aside land for the road that would run outside the Henday 40 to 50 years from now. He argued that not building the road could have a negative impact on the region.

“We’ll lose our competitiveness on a global scale because we do need to have efficient movement of goods.”

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The proposal lacks support from a key player: Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. He said the idea is “wasteful” and would rather see funding directed to maintain urban density.

“Let’s leverage the existing infrastructure we have and lets support urban growth by putting our billions into LRT and upgrades of roads like Manning, Nisku – the roads needed to support compact urban growth in our region.”

Iveson said the board needs to have serious discussions with the province about lining up objectives for the next 50 years so funding can be directed to the right places.

The Capital Region Board voted to bring the Ministers of Transportation and Municipal Affairs into the ring road discussion.

With files from Laurel Gregory, Global News