The death of a Parkland County woman on Highway 2 at Cardiff Road Friday afternoon has many of us waving our fists in the air at the provincial government to get on with building the promised Cardiff Road interchange. It is a reasonable and expected reaction from residents upset that the treacherous crossing, the scene of motor vehicle collisions that are far too frequent, has finally been followed by the loss of human life. The cause of death is not yet known.
The announcement by former MLA Ken Kowalski in the summer of 2011, followed by the subsequent appearance of heavy equipment and the breaking of ground a short time later, gave many who cross that stretch of highway hope that within a couple years we would be safely crossing Highway 2 on a daily basis.
But not all the land has been acquired. Land acquisition is a relatively easy thing. You buy the land. When that becomes problematic, you expropriate the land. That, too, is an easy task. You contact the owner of the land and advise them of your intentions to take their land for a reasonable amount of remuneration. The key here seems to be in the notification – easy when it is a single owner or a few owners; substantially more difficult when it is multiple owners. When that is the case, the deal becomes as fractionalized as when it was first made.
Until the province can sort its land acquisition woes out, we are left with two options: continue to risk crossing Highway 2 at Cardiff Road or take a short drive north and cross at the existing overpass at Highway 642.
There have been too many collisions at the Cardiff Corner crossing. Friday’s fatality is one death too many and should give us all a reminder to take a moment longer so perhaps we or others may live a little longer.