By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The province has signed off on the Highway 642 Functional Planning Study, a project that was a partnership between the Town of Morinville and Alberta Transportation.
The project was started more than a year ago with the goal of improving economic opportunities in Morinville’s downtown core. After a couple of open houses and several rounds of public consultation, the document was unanimously approved by Council May 14. Alberta Transportation signed off on the document June 21.
The FPS deals with provincial Highway 642 (100 Avenue) from Highway 2 to East Boundary Road, a stretch of road that is under the jurisdiction of Alberta Transportation. Both the Town and province worked to find some alternative to the standard FPS for a provincial highway that requires a 10-metre setback on each side of the road to meet the province’s highway standard of 50 metres. Currently, 100 Avenue is 23 metres wide, 30 metres in width with the current right of way. The additional 10-metre right of way requirement is a situation the Town says has driven away millions of dollars in potential commercial investment in the past.
Morinville’s Director of Planning and Development, Greg Hofmann said he was pleased to learn the province had approved the document.
“The recent approval of the 642 Functional Plan by Council in late May and its formal adoption by Alberta Transportation late last week can only be described as a major achievement in the continuing development of Morinville,” Hofmann said. “The Functional Plan is a foundation component of the next 100 hundred years along 100th Avenue.”
This is a great step towards a very bright future for our beautiful community!
Perhaps before they make plans for 25 – 50 years down the road, they should ensure that 100 Ave (Highway 642) is still there in 25 or 50 years! From the current condition of 100 Ave, especially the east entrance at Boundary Road all the way down to 100 Street, I would hazard a guess that it will be nothing more than a wagon trail in 10 years if left untouched, as it is currently in a deplorable state, to say the least! All these big rigs passing through town are tearing it apart. And, whoever from the town or the province was responsible for signing off the recent temporary patch done in front of the community center should be called on the carpet to explain exactly what that monstrosity is, because it is certainly NOT a repair! Now, I know that the town is going to blame the province, as they always do (seems to be the easy way out!) but 100 Ave is one of two major transportation corridors in town and if left untouched, it will also soon be a major generator of damage claims against the town from irate drivers whose vehicles are being destroyed hitting these deep ruts / potholes! I know the town is well aware of the extremely poor condition of this road and yet they continue to turn a blind eye, hoping if they ignore it, it will go away! 100 Ave is a vital part of Morinville and it’s maintenance / repair should be at the very top of the priority list, assuming that the town has such a list! We should always plan for the future but not at the expense of the present!
The town council may have won this battle, but i think this is just the beginning of a war on this issue.
Will, who is ACTUALLY responsible for the upkeep of that road? Town or Province? I may be wrong but I think it’s the province. While I agree with you that the hole that showed up is monstrous, I also believe the temporary fix is a reasonable solution until such time as they can properly repair the road.