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Yellowhead Trail Upgrades


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Sep 22, 2015
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Feds and province needed for $1-billion Yellowhead Trail overhaul, says city
The construction and congestion along the Yellowhead Trail seems never-ending.

Nowhere is that more evident than at the intersection of 127th Street. Construction signs dot the area, traffic snarls and business owners have learned to work around the traffic tie-ups.

"Every morning commuting to work has its challenges. Depending on what time I'm coming in, I base my travel accordingly to where I think the least travel will be," said Carmelo Cirone, who owns Edmonton Truck Sales located at a lot just north of the 127th Street intersection.

The city has identified a 25-kilometre section of the Yellowhead for a facelift that would take 10 years to complete at an estimated cost of $1-billion. The city is pushing for the federal and provincial governments to each contribute a third of the project cost.

Full Story (CBC Edmonton)

Yellowhead progress dependent on province
A plan to make the Yellowhead a free-flow expressway could be decided by whether the provincial government can find the cash.

Mayor Don Iveson has said in recent weeks that the city and the federal government are on board for their share of the roughly $1-billion cost for the project and are waiting for the provincial government to commit.

Full Story (Metro Edmonton)

Fund Yellowhead or risk losing federal funding, Don Iveson urges premier
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson is suggesting the provincial government's inability to commit to upgrading Yellowhead Trail is jeopardizing Edmonton's chances of tapping into federal funding.

The city wants money from the Building Canada Fund to turn a 25-kilometre section of the Yellowhead into a freeway without the existing traffic lights and intersections that slow down the flow of traffic.

The project would take 10 years at an estimated cost of $1 billion. The cost would be shared equally by the city, the province and the federal government.

Full Story (CBC Edmonton)
Infrastructure minister says no guarantees on Yellowhead Trail funding
The province is hopeful it can find money for the $1-billion Yellowhead Trail overhaul, but can’t offer any guarantees due to the province’s worsening financial situation, Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason said Tuesday.

Even if money can be found, funding for big projects like the Yellowhead and Calgary’s Green Line LRT expansion may have to be stretched out over a number of years to make them affordable for the province while it deals with yawning deficits, Mason said.

Mayor Don Iveson said last month there was some urgency because the city risked losing out on matching funds for the project from the federal government if the province can’t make a decision. The city would pay an equal share with the other levels of government — about $242 million — and pay all land costs.

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)
This is amazing to me. The best time to invest in infrastructure projects with government spending is in a recession, especially if the funds are directed to an underperforming sector -- in this case roads and bridges. Now is the time Provincial leaders -- now is the time!
@Daveography they should be bullish on both… and Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure; tourism, tourism, tourism; urban agriculture, urban agriculture, urban agriculture; select-cut forestry, select-cut forestry, select-cut forestry; entertainment, entertainment, entertainment; technology, technology, technology!!!!!
Edmonton's collision-prone Yellowhead Trail to get $1-billion overhaul
The $1-billion overhaul of Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail is set to go ahead after the provincial government Tuesday committed $242 million to the project.

The city, Ottawa and the province will pay equal shares of the massive effort to stream-line traffic and upgrade interchanges to turn the 25 kilometres running through Edmonton into a freeway. The city will also fund land acquisition.

The project still needs formal federal approval, but the Liberal government previously said it meets the criteria for remaining dollars in the Building Canada National Fund and was only waiting on the province.

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)

Edmonton's Yellowhead Trail to get billion-dollar upgrade
Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail will get its long-awaited $1-billion overhaul, as the Alberta government committed $242 million to the project Tuesday.

City spokeswoman Cheryl Oxford said construction on the project will begin within a few years, though it could take five years for major building to begin.

The plan is to turn a 25-kilometre section of the Yellowhead into a freeway, replacing existing traffic lights that slow traffic.

All levels of government would share costs but, before the project moved ahead, the federal government required a commitment from the province.

Full Story (Metro Edmonton)
Editorial: Green light for Yellowhead upgrades
Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail can be a trial.

Hearing a traffic report warn of “slow going on the Yellowhead” is as predictable as dandelions in June. Its 25 kilometres through central Edmonton includes two of the city’s most dangerous intersections and it is a route plagued by an average of 1,000 collisions a year. It’s frustrating if you’re a truck driver. It’s no better if you’re a commuter.

The Alberta government’s Tuesday announcement that it will chip in $242 million of the $1-billion cost of a significant overhaul to this key thoroughfare is welcome. It appears to eliminate the last obstacle in the way of upgrades to the federal highway that local politicians, business owners and irritated drivers have been calling on for years.

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)
Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail project will make commuting safer: city
The Yellowhead’s $1-billion renovation isn’t just about cooling commuter headaches — it’ll actually make the popular route safer.

Last week, the city announced Yellowhead Trail will get its long-awaited $1-billion overhaul after the province committed its share for the project. That means a 25-kilometre stretch will turn into an expressway, replacing traffic lights.

Gerry Shimko, executive director with City of Edmonton’s Office of Traffic Safety, said you can expect a safer trip on the major roadway when the project is complete.

“It’ll mean a substantive reduction in motor vehicle crashes,” he said. “There’s a lot of stop-and-starts at various intersections throughout the corridor, which contributes to crashes.”

Full Story (Metro Edmonton)
Federal government to approve $1-billion Yellowhead Trail project
The federal government announced new money Friday for the $1-billion overhaul of Yellowhead Trail, paving the way for construction to begin in 2021.

Mayor Don Iveson, provincial Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason and federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi are made the announcement near the major roadway Friday morning.

"Upgrading the Yellowhead to a free-flow, freeway standard will help create good-paying design and construction jobs," Mason said in a news release.

Yellowhead's $1-billion upgrade drives it to freeway status
It’s been a long time coming. And it’s going to be a long time before Edmonton drivers experience a smooth-riding freeway with no red lights. But $1 billion in Yellowhead Trail upgrades are officially on the way.

Commuters and truck drivers won’t notice the effects for a while, with a complicated design process and land acquisitions pushing the construction start date to 2021. It will take 10 years from the start date for all the upgrades to be completed.

The $1-billion upgrade will turn parts of the Yellowhead to a freeway from an expressway, meaning interchanges will be upgraded and the traffic lights will be removed. The 25-kilometre stretch of road sees up to 81,000 vehicles per day, 20 per cent of which are transport trucks.

Feds throw funding towards Edmonton’s Yellowhead Trail project

'Dangerous and aggravating': Yellowhead Trail upgrade can't come too soon for truckers
Looks like Edmonton might get its first Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) as part of the Yellowhead Trail upgrades:

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I'm not the biggest fan of building freeways, but I'm less of a fan of building them poorly: I wish they'd spend the extra cost to acquire the necessary land between 50 St. and 82 St., and smooth out that portion. Those curves are extremely tight and will probably forever limit the speed limit to 80 km/h; particularly due to the blind curves while going through the WGD/Fort Road interchange, and also because I don't believe there is enough space to widen the lanes under that interchange either.
It would be nice, but that would be very expensive. The current configuration is still a freeway with a speed limit of 70 km/h, so it doesn't slow people down too much. The merge lanes can be a little dangerous, but that could be solved with replacing the LRT bridge. And the Yellowhead will probably always be six lanes, so the width of the ROW is not really a problem. There are many urban freeways around the world with similar constraints and it seems to be fine. The biggest problem with the Yellowhead are the at-grade intersections. Once those are fixed, you could have a speed limit of 90 from 107 Street to the west end and 100 km/h east of 50 Street. It's only that short stretch between 97 Street and 66 Street that would have to be 70.

Also, I should note that the city is now building their transit garage right on top of where the realignment would have been, so I don't think they'll be doing anything anytime soon.