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Planning for the Terwillegar Drive Expansion Program began in 2017.

Background

Terwillegar Drive is a key north-south route that has exceeded its transportation capacity. It is also an important connector to 170 Street, which will become a future connection from 41 Avenue to Leduc.

In the 1980s, Terwillegar Drive was originally envisioned as a free-flowing road to accommodate future travel demand within southwest Edmonton. Today, the travel demand already exceeds capacity, causing users to experience delays, collisions and emit more greenhouse gases.

A new plan to upgrade Terwillegar Drive to an expressway emerged during the initial planning study in mid-2017. The Terwillegar Drive Expansion Program was developed considering public input, direction from City Council, technical requirements and emerging plans and policies. Initially, a freeway was being developed for Terwillegar Drive. However, in October 2018, Edmonton City Council’s Urban Planning Committee provided direction to advance with an expressway plan for Terwillegar Drive. 

All 3 stages of the program are now funded. In fall 2019, Edmonton City Council approved funding for the north portion of Stage One, from Rabbit Hill Road to Whitemud Drive and Stage Two (excluding the pedestrian/cyclist bridge). On July 8, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced additional funding for the remaining portion of Stage One, Anthony Henday Drive to Rabbit Hill Road, the shared-use path along the east side of Terwillegar Drive, transit priority measures, the pedestrian/cyclist bridge over Whitemud Drive near 142 Street and Stage Three.

Project Timeline

2020

The Government of Alberta announces additional funding to complete the Terwillegar Drive Expansion Program. The program advances as 4 projects, each with different timelines.

2019

2018

  • Phase 1 and 2 public engagement for Stage 1
  • Motion from City Council resulting in the development of additional options, including the introduction of an expressway
  • Presentation to Urban Planning Committee of the freeway and expressway options resulting in a motion from Urban Planning Committee to advance the expressway
  • Development of draft Stage 1 expressway plan
  • Funding approved for Stage 1 and planning/design of Stage 2 approved subject to confirmation of funding through ACTF

2017

  • Concept planning study initiation

Program History

Project Update: September 2020

Funding

On July 8, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced funding for expanding Terwillegar Drive. The investment provides construction funding towards the south portion of Stage 1, from Anthony Henday Drive to Rabbit Hill Road, the shared-use path on the east side of Terwillegar Drive, the pedestrian/cyclist bridge and Stage 3.

With this announced funding and previously approved funding in the 2019-2022 Capital Budget, all 3 stages of the Terwillegar Drive upgrades can advance to construction, improving vehicle capacity, reducing congestion and delays and improving the accommodation of transit users, pedestrians and cyclists. 

Stages

Following the funding announcement, the City is continuing to refine the staging plan for the expansion of Terwillegar Drive as planning and design progresses. The City is continuing  to advance planning and design of Stages 1 and 2 and is currently conducting a technical study to further refine the concept plans for Stage 2. 

A study has also been initiated to develop a concept plan for the pedestrian/cyclist bridge over Whitemud Drive. After analyzing public input from previous engagement, upcoming public engagement will provide opportunities to refine the bridge concept. Preparations are underway to begin the planning and design of Stage 3.

Timelines

Site preparations for the construction of Stage 1 begin in September 2020 between 40 Avenue and Rabbit Hill Road. The preconstruction activities will take place until late fall 2020. Construction on Stage 1, between Rabbit Hill Road and Whitemud Drive, will begin spring 2021. 

Preliminary design of Stage 2 is expected to start this fall. More information on public opportunities to learn about the plans for Stage 2 will be shared in the coming months.

The next phase of engagement on the pedestrian/cyclist bridge is expected to commence this fall. 

September Newsletter
Project Update Information Sheet

Project Update: March 2019

On Thursday March 7, 2019, Terwillegar Drive was named as one of the City projects awarded provincial funding through the Alberta Community Transit (ACT) fund. This contribution of $24.6 million provides funding for dedicated bus lanes on Terwillegar Drive and follows City Council’s decision in December 2018 to fund Stage 1 of the planned upgrades to Terwillegar Drive as a part of the 2019-2022 Capital Budget.

The City is now reviewing the concept plan for Stage 1, along Terwillegar Drive between Anthony Henday Drive and Whitemud Drive. Construction is currently anticipated to begin in the spring of 2020 or 2021. The recommended plan will improve vehicle capacity, reduce congestion and delays, and improve the accommodation for transit users, pedestrians and cyclists. Stage 1 upgrades include:

  • Widening Terwillegar Drive to 4 lanes in each direction between Anthony Henday Drive and Whitemud Drive: 3 lanes for motor vehicles and 1 for transit.

  • Intersection improvements

  • A shared-use path on the east side of Terwillegar Drive

  • Continued landscape naturalization on the corridor

When complete, the recommended concept plan will be shared with area residents, community leagues, stakeholders and the public for feedback and questions. This will also be an opportunity to see how input collected from the last phase of engagement, in late 2018, was used to refine the concept plan. More information on public opportunities to view the recommended plan will be shared in late summer 2019.

November 2018: Draft Expressway Plan

Following a motion from the Urban Planning Committee, the City has developed a draft expressway plan for Terwillegar Drive. An expressway is a high-capacity, relatively high-speed roadway which includes widely spaced signalized intersections. The draft plan includes improvements to address community priorities and previous direction from City Council, including:

  • Widening the road to 4 lanes in each direction
  • Widening of existing signalized intersections with consideration for Smart Adaptive Smart Signal Controls
  • Potential for dedicated transit lanes and bus stops
  • Shared-use path on the east side of Terwillegar Drive with connections across major intersections
  • Continue naturalization on the corridor with the potential for additional localized tree planting
October 2018: Urban Planning Committee Meeting

At the October 2, 2018 Urban Planning Committee meeting, Committee unanimously accepted a motion for the City to advance public engagement only on the expressway option for Terwillegar Drive and to prepare a profile for consideration in the 2019-2022 Capital Budget deliberations.

September 2018: Options

Throughout the summer, the City continued to develop options for Terwillegar Drive to address public priorities including:

  • Alleviating congestion quickly on Terwillegar Drive
  • Accommodating all current direct accesses to neighbourhoods
  • Minimizing traffic diversions through neighbourhoods
  • Improving accommodation of transit users, pedestrians and cyclists

After analyzing the public and technical needs, an expressway was identified as one of the potential options, in addition to the freeway plan, that could address the public priorities and provide a solution for Terwillegar Drive. An expressway is a high-capacity roadway with intersections that would allow access to communities and amenities. All modes of transportation including motorist, public transit, pedestrians and cyclists can also be accommodated with an expressway option.

The City presented an information report to Urban Planning Committee on October 2 regarding the freeway and the new expressway option, and a revised public engagement plan for the Terwillegar Drive concept planning study. City staff recommended additional engagement be conducted with area residents, communities, organizations, businesses and commuters prior to recommending a long-term plan.

August 2018: Notice of Motion from City Council

Following the February 27, 2018 Notice of Motion from City Council, the City is continuing to explore options for Terwillegar Drive which will improve congestion, maintain neighbourhood access and include opportunities for transit, pedestrians and cyclists.  

The next phase of public engagement will begin this Fall, when the City will reconnect with and update community organizations, area residents, businesses, and the public. This will be an opportunity to provide feedback and perspectives on the next stage of planning and how it addresses priorities and concerns which were shared during the last phase of engagement in January 2018, including:

  • Alleviating congestion

  • Maintaining existing direct access to Terwillegar Drive from adjacent neighbourhoods

  • Minimizing traffic congestion and diversions through area neighbourhoods

  • Improving connections for pedestrians, cyclists and transit

  • Minimizing noise and improving safety

Project Update: January 2018

In fall 2017, the City of Edmonton initiated this study to update the approved concept plan for the Terwillegar Drive corridor, between Whitemud Drive and Anthony Henday Drive, considering current roadway standards, travel demand and population projections, and to advance preliminary engineering of the 40 Avenue interchange.

Project Update - January 2018

Stay Informed

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Building Edmonton

An interactive map with details about the project schedule, phase of delivery and budget on capital projects across the city.

For More Information

Terwillegar Drive Expansion Program Team

Email terwillegardrive@edmonton.ca

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