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Slow down: Construction season causing concern in Lethbridge residential areas

WATCH ABOVE: With construction season in full swing, traffic detours are once again a common sight throughout Lethbridge. Residents in one north side neighbourhood say re-routed traffic is becoming a safety concern. Malika Karim explains.

Concerns are being raised as residential streets in Lethbridge’s Westminster neighbourhood begin to see more traffic due to the recent closure of 5 Avenue North.

“There are children here and they [drivers] have to be extra careful,” Westminster resident Shawn Verbree said.
Map of construction on 5th avenue north in Lethbridge
Map of construction on 5th avenue north in Lethbridge Global News

The avenue is currently blocked off for construction work between 19 and 16 streets.

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The city is detouring eastbound traffic down 5 A Avenue and directing westbound vehicles towards 6 Avenue.

Both roads still allow two-way traffic, the detours are just suggestions to help with traffic flow.

But signs pointing drivers to these typically quiet streets are causing some concern, especially with schools nearby.

“Now everybody is coming up and down this street,” Verbree said. “We’ve had our car swiped once already, the side mirror, so we’ve put that in.”

“It’s just too fast. I think people have to realize that they still should be considered something like a school zone, because the kids are coming and crossing these streets.”

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“We chose those roads as it’s the more direct route for motorists to travel down,” said Jeremy Charlesworth with the City of Lethbridge. “If we try to send them down further away routes, like 9 Avenue, we find the compliance goes down and they’ll start short-cutting through the neighbourhood.”

The city is urging drivers to put safety first when travelling through residential detours.

“Please reduce your speed, follow the detours as posted, and if you can find an alternate route through the city that doesn’t take you through the construction area, please use that route,” Charlesworth said.

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Verbree hopes drivers in her neighbourhood will heed that advice.

“A little bit of consideration for the children who are walking back and forth from school in the month of June.”

The construction project along 5 Avenue North is expected to wrap up in September.