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Roads or transit? That is the question

EDMONTON, Alta. -- A battle brewing at Edmonton City Council is drawing a line between those who want to spend mone...


EDMONTON, Alta. — A battle brewing at Edmonton City Council is drawing a line between those who want to spend money to improve the movement of people, and those focusing on the movement of goods.

Robert Carwell, chair of Economic Development Edmonton’s transportation and logistics cluster group says the city’s road network needs to be improved in order to attract new business and make it easier for truckers to make deliveries in and out of the city.

He stresses a new interchange at 156th St. and Yellowhead Trail is most important. But while he’s been pleading council to sink money into area roads, other councillors insist improving city transit is more important.

Last week, Mayor Bill Smith proposed halting plans to extend the LRT system until the city has more information about provincial and federal contributions. That’s good news for trucking companies that would rather see that money sunk into road upgrades and improvements.

In addition to the new interchange, other possible road improvement projects include a new series of on- and off-ramps on the Yellowhead that would help traffic cross the busy interprovincial highway. This is especially important, as rail traffic across the route is slated to increase 20 per cent annually due to CN’s new Intermodal centre that opened this summer. Trucks are often held up at the rail crossing for long periods of time as traffic gets backed up.


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