Plans to realign Highway 56 through Stettler under study

Plans to realign Highway 56 north of the Town of Stettler are off the ground with a study recently initiated by Alberta Transportation in partnership with local municipalities.

Alberta Transportation has initiated the functional planning study and hired Delcan Corporation to undertake the review,” said Rob Stoutenberg, town manager of the Town of Stettler that has representation on a technical review committee with the County of Stettler and Alberta Transportation.

“Right angles are tough for large transport trucks and longer vehicles to negotiate and motorists traveling on Highway 56 get lost in our community,”said Stoutenberg.

“It would be great to see the project completed and improve the traffic flow on Highway 56.”

Community consultation is part of the process of collecting data to analyze the feasibility of the project.

“The study is scheduled to be completed next November and they haven’t set any timelines for construction,” said Leann Graham of the town’s planning department.

“Alberta Transportation wants to have the first public session in January.”

The study will focus on alignment options of Highway 56 from the intersection of 57 Street and 51 Avenue to the intersection of Highway 56 and Township Road 392.

“We haven’t drafted any options yet and we held our first meeting last week with the technical review committee,” said Justin Barrett, project manager with Delcan.

“Realignment plans will need to be addressed to identify an alignment which will provide the most suitable provincial highway network that will meet the long-term need of the town, the county and Alberta Transportation, as well as local landowners and businesses.”

“It is prudent to address this issue now so that the future of Highway 56 alignment can be identified and the right-of-way protected in a manner consistent with projected residential and business growth areas.”

Several issues to be considered within the framework of the project include further improvement of curbs, access for residences along 57 Street and other areas identified for development and the need to avoid communication towers.

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