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'Death trap' Highway 16A and Range Road 20 intersection to close, new redesigned network coming


A new intersection will replace a dangerous crossroad in Parkland County, which has been the scene of dozens of crashes, Alberta's transportation minister confirmed to CTV News Edmonton.

In the past 10 years, the RCMP responded to 70 collisions at Highway 16A and Range Road 20 west of Edmonton. Since March 2018, two of those had fatalities, and 26 caused injuries.

The new provincial budget allocated $22 million, to be spent over the next three years, to "address safety concerns" at the intersection.

The budget documents said that the money will go toward a project providing "both improved safety and the long term plans for this [roadway] network."

On Wednesday, in a statement to CTV News Edmonton, Transportation and Economic Corridors Minister Devin Dreeshen said the investment will close the highway crossover and build new parallel service roads and an intersection at a "safer location."

"The new intersection will not only help area residents get to and from home safely, but will also improve traffic flow along this highway," Dreeshen added.

"Anytime a life is lost on Alberta highways is a tragedy. The Alberta Government's number one priority is the safety of Albertans."

Last summer, Bryan Kwasnycia's 22-year-old daughter Jade was killed in a two-vehicle crash as she tried to cross Highway 16A. Even before that, he said the intersection was referred to as the "death trap."

"It's an intersection that we've all grown up around," Kwasnycia told CTV News Edmonton. "We know the dangers of it."

A truck crosses Highway 16A at Range Road 20 in Parkland County (CTV News Edmonton/Jessica Robb).

Keshia Korrall became an advocate for change at the intersection after she was driving and was the first person at the scene of a different fatal collision.

She launched a petition that collected thousands of signatures in support of provincial action to redesign the intersection.

A map of the area showing the intersection of Highway 16A and Range Road 20 (CTV News Edmonton).

When she heard the news that the budget had allocated money to change the intersection, she was relieved.

"There's so many emotions," Korrall said. "I'm really, really happy."

"It's good for the community, and it's going to make everyone safer."

In her view, closing the existing intersection and building service roads and an entirely new one with better sightlines was the best option.

"Right now, the road is kind of like an 'X' intersection," she explained. "So it's really hard to see anything coming eastbound on 16A when you are heading south on Range Road 20."

Last month, Alberta Transportation and local MLA Shane Getson hosted a town hall to hear from residents, with the general agreement being that something should be done sooner rather than later. The option the province has selected was one of many presented for feedback.

"The investment to this critical intersection is timely for my constituents and I am thrilled to see the government respond to feedback from local residents, as well as commuters along the corridor," Getson said in a statement.

Kwasnycia just hopes that the plan will be implemented quickly. The province offered no timeline for when construction would begin.

"To see that the money is actually allocated to the cause is great," he said. "Our bigger concern though, is statistically, in the next three years, we are going to have 27 more accidents and possibly one fatality."

Bryan Kwasnycia's visit his 22-year-old daughter Jade's grave (CTV News Edmonton/Jessica Robb).

At minimum, Kwasnycia that the province lowers the speed limit in the area to 80 kilometres per hour in the meantime.

"Unfortunately, everything takes time," he added, "[but] it has to be implemented. It can't be one of those things that's in the budget, oops, the government changed, or the people changed, and it's not in the budget anymore."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jessica Robb Top Stories

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