1.76% tax increase could be coming to pay for Yellowhead project

The intersection of 149 Street and Yellowhead Trail. File/Global News

Turning Yellowhead Trail into a free-flow freeway is going to cost Edmonton residents.

A report from the city suggests a 1.76 per cent tax increase between 2017 and 2026 to cover the City of Edmonton’s $510-million contribution to the Yellowhead Trail project.

The tax increase is based on projections of construction cost and interest rates.

The report will be presented to city council Tuesday, Feb. 21.

READ MORE: Feds throw funding towards Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail project

The federal government will contribute $241.6 million towards the $1-billion project (in 2015 dollars), and the province of Alberta will contribute the same amount.

It’s been estimated the project will create 6,000 jobs, generating over $500 million in wages and more than $100 million in taxes. It estimates travel time savings of $25 million in today’s terms, “increasing to $75 million in 30 years.”

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Eight intersections with signals, and more than a dozen other intersections and access points, would be eliminated, according to plan.

READ MORE: $1B Yellowhead Trail upgrade details to be announced Friday

Collision cost reductions would range from $10 million to $15 million.

Currently, the Yellowhead sees 63,000 to 81,000 vehicles per day, with 20 per cent of those being trucks. Those numbers are expected to grow to 87,000 to 155,000 vehicles per day in 30 years.

The Yellowhead Trail Freeway Plan suggests Anthony Henday Drive is not expected to take traffic off the Yellowhead.


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