The City of Lacombe has installed new traffic lights at the intersection of 76 Street and Highway 12. The lights are not yet operational but will be in service next Monday.
The lights were installed last year as part of the traffic control plan for the new Midway Centre development project. That project will see an Esso Gas Station, Triple O’s Burger and a Second Cup among many more businesses be built in the coming year.
Currently, the Esso along with the strip mall are still under construction and are expected to be finished by the first week in January.
Developer Kenwal Sandhu said he and his team having been working throughout the pandemic to ensure the facilities would open on time. He estimates that by mid February 2021 more of the businesses such as Triple O’s will be open.
“Everybody travelling on the highway in the future will know about Lacombe,” said Sanhu.
“It will attract a lot of travellers to the city to go shopping and support businesses while they are visiting here.”
The project will also see 70 residential townhouses be built in the coming year, according to the developers.
There are a number of lots still available in the Midway Centre and Sandu said he would like to see more local businesses from Lacombe occupying them.
“We definitely would like to encourage people to come and open or move their business [to Midway Centre] because we will have the best exposure, and they can enjoy the businesses who will also be coming to the area,” said Sandhu.
Amber Mitchell Manager of Engineering Services for the city, said the new lights will hopefully improve traffic flow once the new development is open.
“It was part of an overall intersection upgrade to support the development of the Midway Centre,” said Mitchell.
“Essentially, the signal lights are required to support the traffic volumes over the next 20 years.”
The new lights were always a part of the construction plans for the site and the city is expecting the area to become much busier as it continues to grow in that location.
The lights were installed last year but because of design changes combined with the COVID-19 pandemic the process of putting them into service was delayed said Mitchell.
There will be “new lights” signs up on 50 Ave and Highway 12 that are visible to drivers as they approach the intersection to remind them to proceed safely. Those signs will be up for the next three months but there are additional warning lights that will be permanent as per Alberta Transportation requirements.
“It’s an interesting location because it’s at the intersection of city jurisdiction, county jurisdiction and provincial transportation jurisdiction. So we had to kind of meet everybody’s design standards,” said Mitchell.
The city is asking residents to be mindful of the changes and follow all additional signage.