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Commuters were invited learn more about the road’s transition from a roadway into an expressway and ask questions of the project team.
“I think everybody would like to see a real freeway and based on the budget they proposed it was clear that wasn’t going to happen,” says one Edmonton resident attending.
City council made the decision to turn Terwillegar Drive into an expressway rather than a freeway because of the cheaper cost and the quicker turnaround time.
“The roadway upgrades alone wouldn’t be enough to accommodate all of the growth to south-west Edmonton. That’s why today we have a solution which is multimodal which includes all modes of travel as well as transit,” says City Project Manager Chris Wintle.
The city says the main improvement will be increasing the number of lanes in each direction from two to four.
While some residents are skeptical of the decision, others are looking forward to the change.
“Getting into Brookfield, where we live, you gotta come off the freeway, stop at a light, go half a block then you’re at another light,” says one Brookfield resident excited about the expressway. “Instead of the freeway going under then this just goes flowing in.”
Some people were also asking about the effects the construction will have on the already busy roadway.
The city says the best solution might be to alternate lane closures depending on the time of day.
This is just phase one of the project though, phases two and three mean the project might not finish for 10 years, in 2030.
Those phases involve revamping the interchanges at each end of the expressway, which are Whitemud Drive and Anthony Henday Drive.
The project did have funding from the previous provincial government, but until the fall budget comes out the city won’t know if that funding is still there.
Councilors did approve a plan to borrow $100 million in the event that the UCP government doesn’t provide funding.
Construction for phase one is slated to begin in the spring of 2020.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Dan Grummett
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