“We are excited that our efforts may be yielding results, and this is encouraging news for Cochrane,” said Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung. “Until there is equipment on site, we will continue to drive home to the Province the vital nature of this interchange to the region.”
Yesterday’s Provincial Budget contains allocations for $597 million for highway twinning, widening and expansion. The 2019 Provincial Construction program identifies an interchange upgrade on Highway 1A on the Northwest Boundary of Cochrane and bridge replacement at the Big Hill Creek on Highway 1A at the North Boundary of Cochrane.
Since the budget was announced, Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie has confirmed to Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung that the project is in the 2019 Provincial Budget and includes the requested highway twinning extension to Sunset Boulevard.
While the status is identified as design, the Town is cautiously optimistic that construction could commence as early as 2020.
Addressing the 1A/22 intersection has been a longstanding concern of the Town of Cochrane. This important intersection currently sees more than 27,000 vehicles per day (VPD). Highway 22 is a key economic corridor for the oil and gas industry and Highway 1A is a key tourism corridor connecting the Calgary region to the Banff National Park. This corridor is highly utilized as an alternative to the Trans-Canada Highway, particularly in the event of highway closures or traffic incidents.
Over the last several years, this intersection has been identified as requiring immediate improvement to ensure adequate traffic flow and public safety. This is reflected in the recent North Calgary Regional Transportation study, which ranked this project 10th of the 166 projects evaluated.
Alberta Transportation has engaged Town Administration on the intersection design, which is more than 90% complete, and an archaeological study was recently commissioned and conducted in the summer of 2019.
Council, Administration and MLA Guthrie met as recently as last month in Edmonton with Provincial Transportation Minister Ric McIver to continue advocating for this important project.
“Minister McIver was supportive and recognized the importance of this project to the region,” said Genung. “By working together with MLA Guthrie we were well positioned to champion this project.”
2019 Provincial Construction Program