Work on the $1-billion upgrade of Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail has begun, although you probably won’t notice for most of this year.
Everything this construction season will be off the main road that is getting transformed into a free-flow freeway, concentrating instead on the local roads in the Delton business area.
“Most of the construction will take place off the main corridors,” Kris Lima, who’s overseeing the project, told reporters after updating city council’s executive committee on Monday. “That begins today and will extend through to the end of October.”
Everything this year will be done to improve east-west movements off the main road.
“What it is, is trying to improve the movement of trucks,” Lima said. “We anticipate there are a lot of large trucks that move about the area when we close 89 Street.”
Watch below: Some Global News videos about Yellowhead Trail.
That’s what prompted Graham Dyck of Cougar Paint and Collision to come to city hall to lobby for some late design changes. He unsuccessfully asked for a “right in-right out” access point for 89 Street. He also wants to see the service road maintain parking.
The city has said no to both, which is frustrating to Dyck because of the convoluted way his customers will have to reach his location at 88 Street and the Yellowhead.
“Hopefully, it shouldn’t affect anything,” Dyck said. “I don’t want to be the kind of guy who’s got a business card with a map on the back that shows you how to get to your shop.”
Lima said the wide variance of speed makes it impossible to have 89 Street remain open.
“You try to minimize that weaving of traffic in and out of the corridor. There’s not enough room for slowing or accelerating traffic, especially large trucks trying to merge on to a freeway of 80 kilometres per hour when you have a semi-trailer going 30 to 20 km/h.”
For Dyck, it’ll mean permanent detours.
Dyck told the committee he’s having to adjust the message in his ads, telling his customers how to get to his business instead of featuring the business itself.