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Find answers for the most frequently asked questions about the Yellowhead Trail freeway conversion.

What is the Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion Program?

Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion Program will turn Yellowhead Trail into a freeway. This means 3 lanes of free flowing traffic in each direction travelling at a target speed of approximately 80 km/hr. To do this, the current signalized intersections and access on or off Yellowhead Trail will need to be removed.

Due to the overall size of the freeway conversion, it has been broken into 6 segments: 

  1. Yellowhead Trail (156 Street to St. Albert Trail)

  2. Yellowhead Trail (St. Albert Trail to 97 Street)

  3. Yellowhead Trail (97 Street to 82 Street)

  4. Yellowhead Trail (82 Street to 50 Street)

  5. Fort Road (Yellowhead Trail to 66 Street)

  6. Yellowhead Trail (50 Street to the North Saskatchewan River)

How will Yellowhead Trail be different when it is a freeway compared to now?

On freeways, traffic is able to flow freely because there are no traffic signals, intersections or crossings at the same level with other roads, railways or pedestrian paths.

Yellowhead Trail as a freeway means the current traffic signals will be removed and road users will exit and enter Yellowhead Trail at the nearest interchange.

Interchanges are grade-separated intersections (one road passes over another) with ramps to connect them. Within our freeway conversion limits, there are currently interchanges located at 156 Street, St. Albert Trail, 97 Street, 82 Street, Fort Rd/Wayne Gretzky, 50 Street and Victoria Trail. After the conversion, there will be 2 new interchanges at 127 Street and 121 Street. New parallel roads between some interchanges will support access to areas that previously had direct access on or off Yellowhead Trail.

Why is the Yellowhead Freeway Conversion Program needed now when the Anthony Henday ring-road has been built?

Yellowhead Trail is part of the City’s inner ring road, and is a key highway connector. While big trucks and vehicles can bypass Edmonton using Anthony Henday Drive, many still need to get into and through the city.

Currently 63,000 – 81,000 vehicles use Yellowhead Trail every day. By 2047, traffic volumes are expected to increase on Yellowhead Trail to between 87,000 – 155,000 vehicles daily even with Anthony Henday open.

Turning Yellowhead Trail into a freeway was identified in the City’s Major Goods Movement Strategy for several reasons: 

  • Yellowhead Trail is classified as a major goods movement route.

  • Yellowhead Trail is already experiencing delays in peak periods and mid-day on weekends. With traffic growth, delays will be even longer if improvements aren’t made.

  • Safety is important. On average, almost 1,000 vehicle collisions have occurred annually on Yellowhead Trail over the past decade. Having traffic flow freely, without stopping at traffic signals, will help prevent collisions. 

What is closing, what is staying open and where will I be able to get on and off Yellowhead Trail?

After the freeway conversion, road users will exit and enter Yellowhead Trail at the nearest interchange or parallel road. None of the existing interchanges will be closed, though some will be upgraded based on nearby projects for the freeway conversion, like adjustments for traffic pattern changes in the area.

All private accesses that currently go directly onto Yellowhead Trail will also be closed.

Interchanges are grade-separated intersections (one road passes over another) with ramps to connect them. Within our freeway conversion limits, there are currently interchanges located at 156 Street, St. Albert Trail, 97 Street, 82 Street, Fort Rd/Wayne Gretzky, 50 Street and Victoria Trail. After the conversion, there will be 2 new interchanges at 127 Street and 121 Street. New parallel roads between some interchanges will support access to areas that previously had direct access on or off Yellowhead Trail.

What is the budget for the program?

Funding commitments were made by the federal and provincial governments and the City for the completion of this work.

The federal and provincial governments will each be contributing approximately $242 million with the City covering the remainder.

When will construction start and finish?

Construction will start in 2019, primarily on roadways and areas surrounding Yellowhead Trail. Work on Yellowhead Trail will begin in 2020 with the freeway conversion anticipated to be complete by 2026-27.

What are the land requirements for this project and how can we find out if our property is impacted?

Land requirements along the corridor will be identified in the individual project design plans. Each developed design plan, whether it is still in the concept stage or final, can be viewed on our project pages.

The City always considers property impacts when planning projects and is committed to working with property owners to reduce and minimize these impacts. If there is potential land impact to your property, you will be contacted by the City’s Real Estate Branch.

How can I find out if my property values are impacted by your project?

Property assessment is done through the City’s Assessment and Taxation Branch. For questions about your specific property, you can call 311 and mention you have a question about property values and assessments or email assessment@edmonton.ca.

For More Information

Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion

Telephone

311

Email yellowhead@edmonton.ca

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