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St. Albert Is At It Again – Fighting Over Roads

So here’s another article from this weekend’s St. Albert Gazette. This time they’re reporting that the city council is looking to realign Villeneuve Road along our northern border.

Am I the only one getting tired of seeing us spend $500,000 at a time for a “conceptual” report on a road that seem to be working just fine where it is? I mean really! How much was spent on these reports for the West Regional Road (now Ray Gibbon Drive) before it actually become a road? I’d rather see that money go to something USEFUL!

Here’s the article…

City eyes northeast road
By Pamela Roth
Staff Writer


Members of the public are beginning to get a clearer picture of what the future realignment of Villeneuve Road could look like in the city’s northeast lands.

A small crowd was on hand Tuesday when plans were unveiled showing an alignment that carves a jagged path through the annexed lands.

The new Villeneuve Road will serve as a major arterial road, providing access to undeveloped lands. It will connect Ray Gibbon Drive to St. Albert Trail and continue further east to tie in with roads in Sturgeon County.

According to the 10-year capital plan the road is expected to cost $51 million between 2012 and 2019.

However, city infrastructure manager Mark Hussey cautioned the alignment is not set in stone and the planning study has yet to nail down a final cost estimate. The project could still be 20 years down the road, he said.

“It’s more about getting the idea down, and determining whatever we plan, will it be functionally feasible to work,” said Hussey, who didn’t hear any major concerns during the information session since many landowners and developers have been a part of the process of determining the re-alignment.

Last fall, the city agreed to spend almost $500,000 on a study to realign the road, which will cross several properties and affect roughly 30 landowners.

A conceptual alignment for Villeneuve Road was approved early in 2008 when council endorsed the transportation master plan. But the alignment drew sharp criticisms from two landowners, who argued the road would carve up their lands and reduce its marketability.

The re-alignment has since changed considerably, steering clear of a handful of environmentally sensitive areas involving wetlands and marshes. It heads straight east, then turns sharply to the north before turning east again, as opposed to a simple diagonal road.

The public information session also informed residents of a second study currently in progress — establishing guidelines for future development along St. Albert Trail, north of Villeneuve Road to the city limits.

The draft concept would change the future role of St. Albert Trail from a standard suburban arterial road to a more balanced approach with pedestrians and traffic. It would include more pedestrian access, commercial and retail stores, along with transit-oriented development.

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Comments

  1. Are you f-ing kidding me? $500K on a report to move a road that’s just fine the way it is. Well, if we ever wondered why we pay super-high taxes in St. Albert; the answer is here. $500K for a REPORT on moving a road. Well done. Brilliant. I’m impressed.

  2. I agree. Let’s waste our money on something really crazy. LIKE TAX BREAKS!!!

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