MLA Dreeshen excited to watch Highway 11 roundabouts become reality

Innisfail- Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen. File photo

Innisfail- Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen. File photo

After years of vouching for the construction of two roundabouts linking Highway 11 to the Sylvan Lake downtown, MLA Devin Dreeshen eagerly watches the dream become a reality.

As part of the $120 million project twinning Highway 11 from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House, the province has planned a construction of five roundabout at problematic intersections. Design, right-of-way purchasing, public consultations, and preliminary planning for the Highway 11 twinning project began in 2021.

“Being able to get direct access from Highway 11 to the downtown core is something that’s been needed for decades and it’s great to see it’s finally going to be complete,” Dreeshen said. “On 60 Street, with the new ballpark and the development on the west side of town, a new roundabout there is going to be awesome for that expansion and development in the town.”

By the end of this fall, construction crews expect to complete the twinning of Highway 11 from 2 km west of Highway 781 to 1 km east of Highway 20, including two-lane roundabouts on Highway 11 at the intersections of Highway 781 (50 Street) and Range Road 15 (60 Street). Improvements will also be made to the lights on Highway 20 and Highway 11.

“I pushed hard to make sure the roundabouts for Sylvan Lake are constructed first because so many Sylvan Lakers, whether it’s safety concerns or just access to the downtown core for the betterment of businesses and access in general, it was a huge need f0r the community.”

The project twinning Highway 11 between Rocky Mountain House and Sylvan Lake is expected to be complete around the end of 2024.

Labour force and material shortages have been a chronic problem this summer, admitted Ron Glen, CEO of Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association.

The projects cannot be kept on budget and schedule “unless all the stars align, and the stars aren’t aligning right now,” said Glen. However, “we will find a way to get it done, as we always do,” he added.