Capital Region leaders talk about building new outer ring road, Edmonton mayor calls it a 'lousy' idea
It took decades to come to fruition, and construction is not yet complete on Edmonton’s ring road, Anthony Henday Drive, but leaders throughout the Capital Region say it’s time to start thinking of adding another one, and it’s an idea Edmonton’s mayor doesn’t support.
Anthony Henday Drive has become a major thoroughfare for drivers in the Edmonton area, and construction on the roadway is expected to be completed in 2016. It’s a project that took about 30 years to bring the project together.
“Had that conversation not taken place in the 70s, with the Anthony Henday in place, I think we recognize the problems we would have been facing in the Capital Region,” Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec said.
Now, some members of the Capital Region Board say it’s time to think ahead, and get work started on another, outer ring road.
“If we don’t implement and have another ring road there’s going to be further traffic congestion and it’s also going to have environmental impacts as well,” Shaigec said.
The proposed roadway would circle Edmonton, and fall about 8 kilometres beyond the Henday.
However, Edmonton’s mayor is not a fan of the idea.
“I don’t think we need an additional ring road, I think that’s a lousy use of land and a lousy use of money,” Mayor Don Iveson said.
Iveson went on to say there are a number of other projects in the city that need to be considered before the $11 billion dollar idea is discussed.
“[We could] spend it a whole lot better strengthening the highway systems that exist in our region,” Iveson said.
“[We could] complete the LRT and still have money left over to fix things like the Yellowhead.”
If the idea moves forward, it would be at least another 40 years before the second ring road could be completed – and because putting such plans in place take so much time, discussion with the province could start in the fall.
With files from Ashley Molnar