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Downtown traffic flow still adjusting to detours

There has been “excellent” progress made in the first few weeks of the latest round of Downtown Rehabilitation Project work. Currently work is happening in the area of 100 Avenue between 101 Street and 102 Street.

Monty Haughian with the City of Grande Prairie says crews have been able to get some of the key steps done in the first phase.

“We did a lot of work last week with the milling and removal of the existing pavement and curbs. We got all the hardware; the garbage cans, bike racks, out of the way and the light standards came down. This week we started with the actual excavation.”

Traffic detours have been set up to get traffic around the work. Haughian says instead of using the intended detour along 102 Avenue a lot of cars are using 101 Avenue.

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“It is creating some back-ups on 101 Avenue. We put in the temporary traffic lights to try to make sure the detour would work correctly but there’s still a lot of people that are using 101 Avenue.”

This means that it is splitting the traffic between the two roads which is throwing off the flow. Haughian says they would ask people to stick to the detour to get through the area faster.

“The lights were set there to really help move the traffic efficiently rather than through four way stops. The people who use 102 basically have a better traffic accommodation rather than the 101 Avenue people.”

The warm, mostly dry weather is allowing crews to get a good start. Since the pavement has been removed Haughian says they have been working to keep the area clean.

“There is gravel and sand there and it has created some dust. Especially with the wind that comes off 214 Place, we know how violent that can be sometimes. It can whip down 100 Avenue so Wapiti has a water truck there watering the avenue occasionally to make sure that we try to control the dust.”

Haughian says they are trying make it “as un-impactful” as they can. He has been trying to maintain an open dialogue between the city and business owners since work began ramping up early this year. Phase three construction is scheduled to wrap up in October, 2018.

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