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Study looks at improvements if Highway 2A twinned

The main concerns from an open house held in Penhold on June 26 regarding twinning Highway 2A were about individual impact on property.

The main concerns from an open house held in Penhold on June 26 regarding twinning Highway 2A were about individual impact on property.

“People that had questions … they were mostly about house impact,” said Robert Cheng, a senior engineer and planning specialist with McElhanney Consulting Services. The company prepared the study on behalf of Alberta Transportation.

Cheng said between 30 and 40 people attended the open house, where people were able to check out improvement concepts that came out of the study.

The project would add two more travelling lanes to Highway 2A between Highway 42 and the QEII off-ramps to help handle increasing traffic.

The study looks at the intersections along the way. Signal lights are being proposed at the intersections of Highway 2A and Lantern Street and McKenzie Road.

There's a non-signalled intersection proposed for the future entrance of Oxford Landing residents onto the highway at the north boundary of Penhold.

There were two suggestions for England Way – either closing off direct access to the highway or relocating the access point.

Cheng said there's “not a whole lot” of impact on private properties, though the study calls for relocating six properties' private access.

Cheng said some individuals who attended indicated “their own displeasure” about how they were to be personally impacted but no one seemed to disagree with the idea of adding lanes to the highway in general.

He said the study is a planning study and not a capital project, so there's no plans for the multi-laning to go forward in the immediate future.

“The purpose behind all planning studies is so we have a plan if and when the government has time,” Cheng said.

Mayor Dennis Cooper was at the open house and suggested the growth numbers are too low.

“I told them I think they're being very conservative in their growth numbers,” he said.

“I think everybody was pleasantly surprised,” Cooper said of reaction he heard from those who attended the open house.

Calming the traffic heading into Penhold was one of his concerns with his plan.

“They need some kind of traffic-calming device at (Highway) 42 and (Highway) 2A,” he said. Cooper said he also suggested putting the new lanes further into Penhold instead of abandoning the twinning at the north end of town.

Cooper also voiced concern about getting needed improvements to the Springbrook turnoff, something which was mentioned in the project information sheet available at the open house. The intersection is busy because it is the turnoff for the Red Deer Regional Airport.

The information slides are available online at www.transportation.alberta.ca/projects/central.aspx.