Leduc County mayor urges province to push ahead changes to ‘scariest intersection’

The intersection of highways 39 and 60 in Leduc County, Nov. 7, 2016.
The intersection of highways 39 and 60 in Leduc County, Nov. 7, 2016. Global News

After another horrific crash, the mayor of Leduc County is calling on the province to prioritize upgrades at a notorious intersection.

“Based on what’s happened… last night, this has to get pushed ahead of the queue,” John Whaley said. “There’s no two ways about it.”

Whaley said the intersection of Highway 39 and Highway 60 has been a problem for years. He said he’s been urging the province to make changes in the 10 years he’s been mayor.

“Two people got killed there last night and it’s just the latest severe accident that’s happened in that intersection. This is our scariest intersection in Leduc County at this moment in time and it is time something got done to it.”

READ MORE: 2 people killed in highway crash south of Edmonton 

“We have a lot of stats,” Whaley said. “We have pages and pages of stats on this intersection and so does the RCMP… It’s nothing new, everyone knows about it. It just has to get booted to the front of the queue.

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“A lot more people are going to die there. I don’t want that on my conscience or anybody else’s. We’ve got to do this now.”

The intersection is currently controlled by stop signs for traffic on Highway 60. Whaley said there are plans to replace the intersection with a roundabout, but no date for construction has been set.

Alberta Transportation said it hopes to have the roundabout built at the location by the end of 2017.

“Roundabouts are the safest way to convey a large amount of traffic with the least amount of traffic delays for users,” Jamie Friesen, a spokesman for the ministry, said.

“A roundabout reduces right angle, so-called T-bone collisions, it also reduces high-speed collisions and head-on collisions.”

Friesen said the province is already in the process of relocating utilities and plans to issue a tender next spring.

“I’ve received a lot of texts, a lot of emails from residents and people that live in this county and… who travel that road on a constant basis,” Whaley said. “They’re all saying the same thing: do something about this.”