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Innisfail-area Highway 54 speed reduction coming

The long-awaited speed reduction on Highway 54 near the Bella Vista subdivision, along with a new crosswalk, coming by second quarter of 2024
Highway 54 traffic speed along the westside of Innisfail through the intersection at 42nd Street will soon be reduced from 100 km/h to 70 km/h to alleviate safety concerns. The longstanding issue will also include a $175,000 town expense for the development of a pedestrian crossing at the intersection. Johnnie Bachusky/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL – After almost five years of increasing traffic safety concerns and back and forth negotiations with the province, there is now a firm project plan for the first half of 2024 to have traffic speed reduced along Highway 54 on the west side of Innisfail and the creation of a pedestrian crossing at the 42nd Street intersection.

The issue has become increasingly urgent in recent years with the creation of the 127-acre Bella Vista residential subdivision on the west side of the Highway 54 and 42nd Street intersection.

Todd Becker, chief administrative officer for the Town of Innisfail, told council at its regular meeting on Nov. 27 that staff was seeking council direction to start the process of reducing the speed limit along the Highway 54 and 42nd Street intersection from 100 kilometres an hour (km/h) to 70 km/h “in close proximity around that intersection.”

Becker said the application for the speed reduction is being sent to the provincial Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors office in Red Deer.

“We needed a council resolution to submit an application to Alberta Transportation. They are already aware the request is coming based on their advice to the town previously,” said Becker to the Albertan last week.

He said Alberta Transportation will then confirm the speed reduction distance on Highway 54 from north and south of the 42nd Street intersection, and the proper signage will be installed.

“And then we will be in a position to enforce that speed limit,” said Becker, hoping it will be in force by the second quarter of 2024.

Meanwhile, the town is set to review its draft municipal budget for 2024 this week and then have the final version presented to town council for approval at its regular meeting on Dec. 11.

In the budget is a capital expense of $175,000 for the development of a pedestrian crossing at Highway 54 and 42nd Street.

“The speed reduction coincides with that project. They line up together,” Becker told the Albertan. “We cannot enforce speed reduction until that crossing is developed.”

The crosswalk project at the Highway 54 and 42nd Street intersection is expected to have a high-tech overhead flashing beacon system to allow for safe two-way pedestrian crossings.

Johnnie Bachusky

About the Author: Johnnie Bachusky

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