Residents take a look at final Highway 56 realignment options

  • Mar. 9, 2011 7:00 a.m.
Pondering on the future – The high turnout of residents at the open house on Thursday

Pondering on the future – The high turnout of residents at the open house on Thursday

JULIE BERTRAND

Independent Reporter

On Thursday, March 3, there was a low buzz in the Stettler Rec Centre’s conference room as there was a substantial turnout for the open house organized to sound out community’s reaction to various options regarding the development of the northern part of Stettler.

Residents lingered in front of the final six Highway 56 realignment options in groups before going to the tables on the side of the room to write their opinion of the options.

“They’re the six options that all the members of Alberta Transportation’s technical review committee, the town and the county of Stettler agreed on to take forward to the public,” said Justin Barrett, Delcan engineer in charge of the project.

While Delcan employees answered questions, county and town councillors listened to comments from concerned residents.

Councillor Leona Thorogood was satisfied by the turnout at the event.

“It’s amazing that the people I have talked to so far are really interested in the development of this community down the road,” said Thorogood.

“They’re really honestly looking at the options, seeing what’s best for the community, seeing what’s best for the connectivity of the community, and everything else and that’s great.”

After the open house, Delcan will evaluate the options based on criteria that the technical review committee established. The company will also read the comment forms written by the residents.

“We’ll be looking at what issues the public have come up with,” said Barrett.

Delcan will evaluate all options, even creating a hybrid of some of the options if that is what the public wants.

Town council has already identified its preferred option.

“Option F gives us the most latitude as a council and that was the one we approved at our last meeting,” said Thorogood.

Option F has no backtracking compared to the other options when it comes to access to the auction mart and the surrounding industrial area.

While it has a traffic circle, council was satisfied by Alberta Transportation’s explanations that the circle would be designed to take larger vehicles and B trains.

“If they don’t quite fit in the track, everything is designed so that they can go up on the curb and there will be no damage,” said Thorogood.

Delcan will unveil the preferred option to the public in another public information session, which should take place late May or early June.