November 18, 2015 7:46 pm
Updated: November 19, 2015 9:40 pm

Major QEII interchange in Edmonton’s far south now open

WATCH ABOVE: The $205-million project has been under construction for more than two years. But, it has one farmer thinking about moving. Kent Morrison explains.

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EDMONTON – A massive, $205-million construction project in south Edmonton is opened to traffic Thursday morning.

The interchange at 41 Avenue SW and the Queen Elizabeth II Highway was opened to traffic shortly after 9 a.m. Nov. 19. Construction on the interchange started in summer 2013.

The City of Edmonton said it, along with Alberta Transportation and the federal government, contributed to the cost of the project.

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READ MORE: 90% of Edmonton road construction projects complete or on track: city

Reaction from local residents has been mixed.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen this fast,” said area resident Norm Helm. Helm has lived along the QE II for more than 80 years, and he and his wife were the first people to officially drive on the new interchange. The interchange passes right next to his family farm.

“I figured it would be at least 20 years down the road, but it took off something fierce.”

In addition to the new interchange, the project includes several updates for surrounding infrastructure.

This includes a grade separation of the new CPR intermodal yard, upgrades to 41 Avenue SW, realignment of the QE II between 41 Avenue and Ellerslie Road, and a new bridge across Blackmud Creek.

The new additions are expected to greatly increase traffic in the area.

Helm isn’t pleased with that; he’s planning to move away from the area in the next year.

“It’s hard to say what’s going to happen here, how soon they’re going to put pressure on me.”

He explained a lot has changed over the last several years.

“It was nice and quiet and peaceful, farm life, and it’s certainly changed.”

There will be an official grand opening for the site in December. In the meantime, the site will be fully open to traffic.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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