Kubinec began her question by expressing the importance of highway safety to her constituents, particularly those who use the Cardiff crossing. “There have been many accidents and a tragic death this summer,” Kubinec said. “When will the government commit to increasing highway safety at the Cardiff intersection and complete the Cardiff overpass?”
Transportation Minister Ric McIver acknowledged the intersection was a priority for residents and recognized Kubinec was working with Morinville Council on the community’s concerns. But the minister offered no details in answering the question as to just when the project would move into subsequent phases. “The first phase of construction is complete, including a temporary detour and realignment of 100 Street,” McIver said. “There’s also in place advance warning signs, warning lights and reduced speed limits, and acceleration / deceleration lanes. We’ll continue to work with the honourable member and the local municipal council to address this issue.”
Kubinec then asked the Minister of Transportation if the government was considering temporarily lowering the speed limit at the crossing or increasing law enforcement presence until the interchange could be completed. The answer was not one she wanted to hear.
“The speed limits on this particular intersection have already been reduced,” McIver said, adding there were no plans to reduce them further. “In a combination of work that’s been done and, thankfully, safe driving practices by Albertans using this area, we hope to make sure that motorists will ensure that this is a safe intersection. I’ll continue to work with my colleague, the Solicitor General, to make sure that enforcement is out there for the few motorists that need to be reminded.”
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. No details were forthcoming during question period as to the status of that land acquisition.