November 10, 2016 4:59 pm
Updated: November 10, 2016 7:47 pm

Closure of Henday exit at 127 Street postponed

Access to and from Anthony Henday Drive at 127 Street in south Edmonton will be permanently closed to traffic.

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After speaking with the City of Edmonton, the province has decided to postpone the closure of the 127 Street exit from Anthony Henday Drive.

“They’re backing off closing it for now while we continue to explore alternatives,” Mayor Don Iveson told 630 CHED. “That was the best we could hope for at this point. It indicates responsiveness and collaboration which we very much appreciate from our friends at the Legislature.”

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Last week, Alberta Transportation said access to and from southwest Anthony Henday Drive at 127 Street in southwest Edmonton would be permanently closed as of Nov. 12 at 10 p.m. The transportation minister said the interchange was outdated and unsafe.

READ MORE: Anthony Henday Drive exit at 127 Street to be permanently closed 

However, Edmonton’s mayor said closing the access point will make the “major capacity challenges” in the southwest even worse. He urged delaying the move and looking at alternatives.

Area councillor, Bryan Anderson, proposed the city take over operation and maintenance of the exit from the province for the rest of the decade, according to 630 CHED. The justification is that the road and 135 Street will be needed to access a future park-and-ride lot when the lease at Century Park LRT Station runs out.

READ MORE: Edmonton trying to keep Henday exit at 127 Street open after province announces closure 

On Thursday, the province said the closure would be postponed.

“In discussions with the City of Edmonton, Alberta Transportation is evaluating options for access to Anthony Henday Drive at this location,” the province said in a news release.

It said the closure would be put off “as discussions continue between the Government of Alberta and the city.”

New timelines for the 127 Street access have not yet been determined.

One of the issues, Iveson said, is who pays for what?

“That’s one of those things we need to work through,” the mayor said. “We understand there will be some cost to the city of these works and the province’s position is that building that interchange is 100 per cent at a cost to the city.”

Iveson said the city is trying to convince the province to at least donate provincially owned land there.

“Whether the province can contribute that to these projects because it’s surplus to the transportation and utility corridor and it would be used for transportation purposes. We have some details to work through but this reprieve gives us time to do that.”

With files from Scott Johnson, 630 CHED

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc

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