Construction began last week on the Hwy. 2A and Hwy. 597 intersection just outside the Town of Blackfalds limits.
The road work will be conducted from May straight through to the end of September and Alberta Transportation warns motorists to prepare to slow down due to the construction.
“Crews are currently on site right now doing off road work including surveying,” said Alberta Transportation Spokesperson Carrie Sancartier. “They will soon be constructing a detour for the roundabout. Motorists can expect considerable construction traffic throughout this stage.”
The slow down for motorists will be most evident along the existing highway and detour route meet.
In June, traffic will begin to be diverted onto the newly constructed detour route.
Fifty km/h signs have been placed on both Hwy. 2A and Hwy. 597, in all four directions, and motorists are expected to obey the signs in order to avoid paying fines.
Reasoning behind the roundabout construction and intersection upgrades all boils down to safety.
“In a nutshell, roundabouts help improve traffic flow and safety for drivers,” said Sancartier.
Roundabouts require traffic to move at slower speeds, create fewer points where pedestrians and motorists can come into conflict, reduce the potential for right angle and t-bone collisions and eliminate head on and high speed collisions.
According to Alberta Transportation, vehicles using a roundabout are not forced to stop, which will reduce delays and congestion in the high traffic area.
Roundabouts also have lower operation and maintenance costs than the previously existing lights.
Alberta Transportation predicts the roundabout will be completed by September.