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.”