BACKGROUND AND STUDY PURPOSE
Castleglenn Consultants Inc. was retained by Alberta Transportation to undertake the Highway 43 Functional Planning Study in the general vicinity of the Town of Fox Creek. The study will confirm the ultimate freeway interchange requirements in term of location and configuration and address safety and access concerns through recommendations regarding intersection and future service roadway upgrades.
The goal of the project is to develop a functional plan that will:
- address existing highway operations within the study area;
- identify issues, constraints and solutions to accommodate future community development;
- identify infrastructure improvements including intersection upgrades, new service roads, local road enhancements and the ultimate freeway designation which involves planning for a future interchange;
- recommend an access management strategy for each stage of improvements; and
- identify the required property to implement the recommended improvements.
THE STUDY AREA
- The Highway 43 corridor forms part of the North-South and CANAMEX Trade Corridors and serves as the major highway connecting northern and central Alberta and linking greater Edmonton to Grande Prairie through the Peace Country;
- The highway is designated as a (Level 1) freeway;
- The study area covers approximately 20 km of the existing twinned Highway 43 corridor between Highway 947 to a point north of the Town of Fox Creek (West of Bigstone Road); and
- Highway 43 also serves the 2,000 residents of the Town of Fox Creek which has numerous service industry businesses that cater to travelers and workers that support the surrounding oil, gas & trucking industries.
A FUTURE VISION FOR THE HIGHWAY 43 CORRIDOR
The project is intended to ensure the integration of future plans for the Highway 43 freeway corridor inclusive of staging that would see the existing expressway served by at-grade intersections transition to an ultimate freeway standard served by grade-separated interchanges and a network of service roads. The improvements are intended to enhance the economic development objectives of the Town of Fox Creek, the Municipal District of Greenview and the surrounding local industries.
The project approach involves a building a consensus regarding the ultimate design for the Highway 43 corridor, the location and configuration of a Fox Creek interchange, connecting service roadways and the staging of improvements.
The proposed methodology is comprised of five distinct phases which include:
Phase I – Identify Existing Conditions, Alternatives and Constraints
This phase documents the existing conditions such as land use, environmental, geometric and other constraints that relate to Highway 43 and a future grade-separated interchange.
Phase II – Identify Highway 43 Ultimate Corridor and Interchange Alternatives
This phase includes an evaluation and feasibility assessment of viable interchange locations and configurations along the Highway 43 corridor.
Phase III – Evaluate, Analyze and Recommend Preferred “Ultimate” Plans
This phase involves the evaluation of the identified corridor and interchange concepts. Conceptual designs will be reviewed as to their flexibility to respond to future travel demand and their suitability to assure economic development opportunities and conformance with current design standards.
Phase IV – Develop and Refine a “Staged” Solution
A “staged solution” will be developed that s intended to maximize development opportunities of the lands adjacent to the future interchange, assure constructability and integrate with future Fox Creek and the surrounding area developments.
Phase V – Develop Functional Plans, ROW Mosaic and Report
This phase of the project will result in a technically feasible/viable solution that identifies the scope of the improvements, supported by plans with required property identified and a report.
The Public Involvement process will be integrated with the technical phases of the study with the objective of informing all land owners, residents and business owners that are directly impacted by the proposed infrastructure of the requirements necessary to achieve the “ultimate” design standard that has been mandated by the Province.
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Should you have any questions or concerns please contact Mr. Arthur Gordon, Consultant Project Manager, CastleGlenn Consultants Inc. toll-free by phone at (780) 945-3775, by fax at (780) 945-3339, or by mail at 110/120 1710 Radisson Drive SE, Calgary AB, T2A 7E9.