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Terwillegar Drive Expansion at risk in budget deliberations: councillor


A south Edmonton councillor says the ongoing Terwillegar Drive Expansion is at risk as local politicians look for ways to save money during tight budget deliberations.

In a blog post on Thursday, Ward pihêsiwin Coun. Tim Cartmell wrote "it has been suggested by some of my Council colleagues that the Terwillegar Drive project be reduced in scope or halted."

The project was approved in 2019 and construction started last year.

"To stop now, it just doesn’t make sense," resident Dave Rumbold told CTV News on Friday. "The areas where the construction has happened has made a big difference. The bottlenecks have been moving down to where the construction is continuing."

Terwillegar Drive is being converted into an expressway in three phases, with Phase 1 including wider roads, improved intersections, bus lanes and a shared-use path.

In his blog post, Cartmell said "some Councillors have suggested that improvements to the ramps that connect Whitemud to Terwillegar should be eliminated."

Cartmell says the current ramp is "profoundly unsafe" and called on "ticked off" residents to write to other councillors to keep the project in the budget.

Roughly $40 million is needed for the next phase, about $4 million a year on a $3.4 billion budget, according to Cartmell.

The next phase is slated to cost $142 million, according to Building Edmonton.

"If you’re contemplating spending more time to save money that will only be consumed by inflation while you take the time to redesign, I think that’s penny-wise and pound-foolish," Cartmell told CTV News on Friday.

"I don’t want to talk about 2019 anymore. I want to talk about 2023. I want to get to talking about pragmatic climate change, I want to talk about building better transportation transit and roadway networks."

The Terwillegar Drive Expansion was not discussed during the three-day public budget hearings earlier this week, and there are no official proposals to change plans yet. Top Stories

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