By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Maureen Kubinek says she has recently put in a request for information with Alberta Transportation on the proposed Cardiff overpass and received some answers.
“The plans are all done,” she said. “It’s all ready to go except the acquisition of the land, and they are trying hard to get it done. Alberta Transportation is trying to get all the paperwork finished so that they can start it.”
The overpass, announced by Kubinec’s predecessor Ken Kowalski in the summer of 2011, was to begin construction this past spring; however, problems acquiring two sections of land have slowed the process down. Those sections are on the southeast and northwest corners of the intersection of Township Road 554 and Highway 2. Once land is finally acquired, it could be as much as another three years before motorists will cross the overpass instead of the highway crossing that has resulted in six people being sent to hospital in the past couple weeks.
“It could take two to three seasons to complete it,” Kubinec said. “They [Alberta Transportation] had initially hoped they would finish it in 2013. That’s now not going to happen because of this delay. They really can’t go ahead until they get it [the land].”
Although not directly told so by Alberta Transportation, Kubinec believes part of the holdup is that one of the pieces of land to be acquired has multiple owners. How long it will take to finalize the land deals remains uncertain. “They couldn’t give me a timeline,” Kubinec said of her information request with Alberta Transportation.
She is aware of the two recent collisions at the crossing and asks constituents for patience and that they be cautious when using the Cardiff road crossing. “When you are approaching that intersection any way from any direction, you’ve got to use caution and be watching,” she said