A highway interchange that provides access to Gasoline Alley in Red Deer is fully open to traffic, the province announced Monday.
The Highway 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange includes five new bridges, new on- and off-ramps for north and southbound traffic, widening and realignment of Highway 2 and the integration of the Taylor Drive and Gaetz Avenue interchanges.
The Alberta government hopes the $80-million road project will improve traffic flow and safety for drivers, local residents, commuters and businesses.
“Red Deer County is thrilled to see the Gaetz Avenue interchange project come to a conclusion,” said Jim Wood, the mayor of Red Deer County.
“This was a massive project, and, in only two years, we have completely changed the way that motorists access Gasoline Alley and the City of Red Deer.
“This project has improved vehicle safety and efficiency, which creates even greater demand for local businesses. We are also excited to see the beginning of a new business area adjacent to the highway, at the Junction of Highways 2 and 42,” Wood said.
Alberta’s minister of transportation acknowledge this area has always been a pinch-point for drivers on the QEII.
“This new interchange improves the flow of traffic and increases safety on a heavily travelled stretch of highway,” Brian Mason said in a news release Monday.
“Alberta Transportation, the City and County of Red Deer, along with the contractor, worked diligently to make sure we could safely open the interchange in time for the Canada Winter Games this February.”
The new infrastructure is appreciated by those who live in Red Deer as well, Mayor Tara Veer said.
Construction on the project began in 2016.
The Gasoline Alley service road was closed on July 23.
The last remaining touches, like final paving, signage, guardrail installation and landscaping, will be completed in 2019, the province said.