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Traffic light removal marks 1st major step in Yellowhead Trail freeway conversion

The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. .
The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. . Dave Carels, Global News

Drivers who take Yellowhead Trail on a regular basis will notice one less stop along the busy roadway beginning Monday.

The traffic lights at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street will be removed. At the same time, barriers will be installed to close direct access to the Yellowhead from 89 Street.

READ MORE: City of Edmonton begins work on Yellowhead Trail project

Access to and from the Delton business area will remain open at the 82 Street and 97 Street interchanges, the City of Edmonton said in a media release Friday.

Removal of the set of lights marks the first significant change to Yellowhead Trail as work continues to convert the busy thoroughfare to a freeway.

The city said Yellowhead Trail will continue to be reduced to two lanes in each direction between 82 and 97 streets. This is needed so crews can install permanent traffic barriers between the eastbound and westbound lanes, as well as between Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street.

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“The lane reduction is anticipated to be in place until the project is complete, which is currently scheduled for the end of October,” the city’s media release stated.

READ MORE: Yellowhead Freeway plans to close 66 Street ⁠— ‘It’s going to be absolutely terrible’

The Freeway Conversion Program will see all of the signalized intersections removed along Yellowhead Trail. The end goal is to have three lanes of free-flowing traffic in each direction.

“This will greatly improve the overall safety of the corridor, the movement of goods and services along the corridor and the daily commute for tens of thousands of users,” the city said.

More information on the program can be found on the city’s website.

The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.
The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Dave Carels, Global News
The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.
The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Dave Carels, Global News
The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.
The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Dave Carels, Global News
The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.
The traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street being removed from service Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Dave Carels, Global News