Letter: Wildrose infrastructure critic weighs in on Cardiff solution

Dear Editor,

Recently, the government announced it will install traffic lights at the dangerous intersection at Cardiff Road and Highway 2 near Morinville, known as Cardiff Corner.

This timely announcement came just hours before Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith met with local residents and heard concerns about the intersection, and just one day after I recommended a speedy remedy for this intersection in my report, A Better Way to Build Alberta, following a seven-day, 7,000 km infrastructure tour this fall. The report and 10 recommendations came as a result of speaking to hundreds of stakeholders, municipal leaders and Albertans, including in Morinville, and is available at www.wildrose.ca.

Needless to say, I heard loud and clear that the Cardiff Road intersection is a local and regional priority. I would like to thank everyone I met with in Morinville and the surrounding area who shared their concerns with me. By doing so, they may have added some extra pressure to motivate the government to act.

However, I’ve heard residents are uneasy about the solution proposed. The plan for traffic lights and speed reduction will halt north and southbound traffic to a complete stop and potentially create new safety issues, such as potential rear-end collisions, on this busy thoroughfare.

The government promised a superior solution when it put a free flow interchange on the 2012 three-year plan. But this was taken off the plan this year with no explanation or consultation with local residents. Residents are still wondering why it was taken off the plan when traffic count numbers certainly would justify an interchange.

Clearly an interchange was the preferable solution, and that is what many residents still want. At the very least, the PC government needs to come clean with Morinville residents as to why its promise of an interchange has been broken.

A Better Way to Alberta recommends an infrastructure priority list based on objective criteria, so Albertans know when their infrastructure priorities will be met. Clearly, the government’s three-year plans, like the one that once included an interchange for Cardiff Corner, aren’t a reliable indicator of what the government will do.

Drew Barnes
Wildrose Infrastructure Critic
MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat

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