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About the Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion

Yellowhead Trail first opened to the public in 1970. More than 50 years later, the expressway is used by over 80,000 commuters every day and is projected to increase to 155,000 commuters in 20 years. It is a major goods and services transportation link in the Trans-Canada highway and it’s time for the Yellowhead Trail to become a freeway — with 3 lanes of free-flowing traffic in each direction by the end of 2027. The proposed plan will improve traffic flow along Yellowhead Trail as traffic volumes continue to grow, help move goods and services more efficiently through and within this part of the City, and will significantly improve safety at several high-collision locations.

The City completed a strategic plan for the Yellowhead Trail conversion program that includes the closure of a number of intersections, addition of service roads in select areas, and the addition of a number of interchanges. This expansion is part of Edmonton’s Transportation Master Plan and the Transportation Bylaw was amended by City Council to designate Yellowhead Trail as a freeway.

October 2012

An update was presented to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on October 9, 2012. The update outlined the recommended long-term staging for improvements along Yellowhead Trail.

December 2016

Funding from the federal, provincial and municipal orders of government was announced for improvements to Yellowhead Trail consistent with the City's Yellowhead Trail Strategic Plan. The federal and provincial governments are each contributing up to $241.6 million, with the City providing remaining funding for a total of over $1 billion.

Yellowhead Trail Is Changing

Stay informed with program updates and opportunities to have your say in shaping the new Yellowhead Trail.

Read the program newsletter archives.

Public Engagement History

The City values public input and recognizes its importance in identifying the needs of all Yellowhead Trail road users and area residents and businesses. Each segment of the Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion Program is being built to balance the roadway requirements with community, business and commuter needs.

The City wanted to understand Edmontonians’ level of knowledge of the current plans, initial ideas, issues and concerns with the Yellowhead Trail Conversion Program. Building awareness of the freeway conversion and gaining a better understanding of the breadth of interested and impacted stakeholders, was also a focus. The feedback helped ensure future communications and engagement plans reflect the ideas and preferences of the public and how they want to be involved and informed.

What We Heard Report
April 2019

156 Street to St. Albert Trail

The concept plan for Yellowhead Trail at 149 Street was developed after an extensive public engagement process in 2012/13. The City identified a Stakeholder Input Group and worked closely with members of the public to review alternatives and develop the recommended plan.

Modifications will be made to 3 roads that run parallel to Yellowhead Trail to support new traffic patterns: 123 Avenue, 124 Avenue and 128 Avenue

October 2015 - Final Concept Plan

The final concept plan was presented to the Transportation Committee on October 7, 2015.

Concept Report
Concept Drawings

January 2015 - Project Update

The City focused on refining the preferred concept plan for Yellowhead Trail at 149 Street. The preferred concept includes one-way service roads parallel to Yellowhead Trail on the north and south sides. There is no connection proposed for 149 Street across Yellowhead Trail. The City evaluated the changes that would be required to the surrounding road network to address changes in travel patterns as a result of the proposed plan.

January 2014

The City completed the final stages of a significant public engagement and communications process that resulted in the development and refinement of a preferred option for freeway operation of Yellowhead Trail at 149 Street. The process included public engagement drop-in sessions in June 2012 and September 2013, 11 key stakeholder meetings, discussions with internal and external stakeholders such as CN Rail and utility companies, information bulletins to the community, and the establishment of a Stakeholder Input Group (SIG). Impacted and interested stakeholders were invited to volunteer to be a member of the Stakeholder Input Group, which represented impacted businesses, property owners, community leagues, industry associations, residents in the interchange study area, and the community at large.

This Stakeholder Input Group worked with the City to develop ideas for converting Yellowhead Trail at 149 Street to a freeway, while retaining access to the adjacent businesses and the Dovercourt community. The Stakeholder Input Group helped to identify and develop:

  • Issues and constraints

  • Evaluation criteria and their relative weighting

  • Interchange and preferred access arrangements

Over the course of several workshops, the Stakeholder Input Group helped to evaluate and reduce the total number of alternatives. After significant development and evaluation of alternatives, the City arrived at a recommended configuration for the area based on input received from internal and external stakeholders, as well as the Transportation Committee.

December 2013

The City worked with the Stakeholder Input Group and the public to inform the Yellowhead Trail and 149 Street concept plan. This report includes an overview of the public involvement process, an overview of the input received, as well as how the input informed the development and refinement of the preferred options for the intersection of Yellowhead Trail and 149 Street.

149 Street Interchange Planning Study

September 2013 - Public Meeting

On Tuesday September 17, the City of Edmonton hosted a public meeting to provide information on the recommended concept for free flow operation of Yellowhead Trail at 149 Street.

During the Open House, the public were invited to view the presentation boards and maps, ask questions of our project staff and pick-up project information material.

July 2013 - Transportation Committee

Two freeway options were presented to City Council on July 10, 2013:

  1.  Freeway Strategy A which includes a ¾ diamond, grade separated interchange and

  2. Freeway Strategy B which includes one-way service roads with right-in/right-out access north and south of Yellowhead Trail as well as improvements to parallel routes on 128 Avenue, 123 Avenue and 124 Avenue.

Presentation to the Transportation Committee of Council
Strategy Option A
Strategy Option B (Preferred Strategy)
Council Report

October 2012 - Project Update

An information bulletin was mailed out to community groups and businesses adjacent to the intersection. The bulletin provided an update on input received during the June 2012 Public Engagement Drop-in Session and requested additional feedback from the public.

June 2012 - Public Engagement Drop-in Session

A public engagement drop-in session was held in June 2012 to introduce the project and provide background information. Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the project and provide input. Thanks to residents and community stakeholders who attended the June 13, 2012 meeting on the 149 Street Interchange at Yellowhead Trail.

Event Materials
Project Fact Sheet
Open House Overview Presentation – June 2012

See 156 Street to St. Albert Trail for additional information about the project.

123 Avenue

In 2019, the design phase for modifications to 123 Avenue began and design work happened.

  • Stakeholders whose properties were directly affected by changes to 123 Avenue met with the City between July and September 2019

Public Information Session - October 2019

A public information session was held on October 28, 2019 to view the design plan for changes happening along 123 Avenue.

Event Materials
Display Boards
Design Plan
What We Heard/What We Did Report

See 123 Avenue for additional information about the project.

124 Avenue

There are no further engagement opportunities with this project.

  • Construction began in June 2019

March 2019

A public information session was held in March 2019 so the public could learn about the planned construction and view the final design plans for 124 Avenue.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
Design Plan

What We Heard/What We Did Report

June 2018

A coffee chat engagement event was held in June 2018 with the purpose of collecting input for construction considerations from local business owners/operators.

April 2018

Meetings with affected property owners were held.

See 124 Avenue for additional information about the project.

128 Avenue

There are no further engagement opportunities with this project.

  • Construction began in May 2019

March 2019

A public information session was held in March 2019 so the public could learn about the planned construction and view the final design plans for 128 Avenue.

Event Materials
Display Boards (15MB)
Design Plan
What We Heard/What We Did Report

July 2018

A coffee Chat engagement event was held in July 2018 with the purpose of collecting input for construction considerations from local business owners/operators.

May 2018

Meetings with affected property owners were held.

See 128 Avenue for additional information about the project.

St. Albert Trail to 97 Street

The St. Albert Trail to 97 Street concept planning study will determine the future configuration of the roadway network between St. Albert Trail and 97 Street, modifications to the adjacent roadway network and will provide recommendations for future connections for cyclists and pedestrians. The study will investigate a series of options for the roadway configuration and share them with the public for input.

Phase 1 Public Engagement: Identify Values, Issues and Ideas - Fall 2019

Public Engagement drop-in sessions were held in November 2019. A residents’ meeting and business stakeholder drop-in engagement sessions were also held during this time.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
Project Area Map
What We Heard Report

See St. Albert Trail to 97 Street for additional information about the project.

97 Street to 82 Street

There are no further engagement opportunities with this project.

  • Construction began in May 2019
Final Concept

Changes were made between 97 Street and 82 Street, including:

  • Traffic signals and direct access to Yellowhead Trail at 89 Street were removed fall 2019

  • On-street parking along 125A Avenue was removed

  • Minor modifications to the 97 Street and 82 Street interchanges to facilitate large truck movements

  • Modifications to 125A Avenue include rehabilitation, intersection improvements and the addition of missing sidewalk connections

  • Addition of a second westbound through lane across the 82 Street interchange

All access to and from Yellowhead Trail at 89 Street was permanently closed on Monday October 14, 2019. The traffic signals were removed and concrete barriers were installed to fully close access between Yellowhead Trail and 89 Street. The road work along 125A Avenue is almost complete with only minor clean up items and landscaping to be completed in spring 2020.

Public Information Session - April 2019

A public information session was held in April 2019 to view final design plans and learn about construction scheduled for May 2019.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
Design Plan (10MB)
What We Heard/What We Did Report, March 2019

Public Engagement Session - October 2018

On October 16, 2018, the City held a public engagement session to gather feedback on the design plans for Yellowhead Trail between 97 Street and 82 Street and to find out what information is important to share during construction.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
Design Plan - 97 Street to 82 Street
What We Heard/What We Did Report, October 2018

Concept Plans 2011

Following public meetings in 2011, concept plans were approved that included changes for Yellowhead Trail at 89 Street.

125A Avenue

Design Engagement - June 2018

On June 13, 2018 property owners and business owners/ operators from the Delton Business Area participated in a meeting with the purpose of stakeholders having a unique opportunity to provide input and witness the decision about 125A Avenue being made.

Meeting Materials:
Decision Making Factors - External Inputs
Decision Making Factors - Internal Inputs
Advanced Design Option

Business Area Workshop - May 2018

On May 22 and 24 drop-in workshops were held for stakeholders in the Delton Business Area. The purpose of these workshops was to collect input for area design plans, construction considerations and to gain specific input on the pros and cons between 2 different design options for 125A Avenue.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
Business Operations Questionnaire
Design Option A - Two-Way Traffic With Street Parking Removed
Design Option B - One-Way Traffic With Street Parking Remaining

See 97 Street to 82 Street and 125A Avenue for additional information about these projects.

Fort Road Widening

The City is committed to working with Yellowhead Trail users and stakeholders in the Fort Road Widening and 125 Avenue project area. Design is underway with consideration of public perspectives.

Concept plans for Fort Road widening were developed in 2015. Concept plans for 125 Ave West of 66 Street 2015. Plans for 125 Ave east of 66 Street were developed in 2012.

125 Avenue

The City developed a design for a new collector road from 61 Street at Yellowhead Trail to 71 Street, west of Fort Road. Concept plans for 125 Avenue west of 66 Street were developed in 2015 and for 125 Avenue east of 66 Street in 2012.

See Fort Road Widening for additional information about the project.

66 Street Overpass

Concept planning for Yellowhead Trail between 82 Street and 50 Street, including removal of the signalized intersection of Yellowhead Trail and 66 Street and other local road changes, is now complete.

The outcome of the study is a concept plan for a partial interchange at 66 Street with a flyover (overpass) over Yellowhead Trail, constructed with a combination of slopes and retaining walls. It includes access from 66 Street to Yellowhead Trail eastbound via a new ramp. The new 61 Street/125 Avenue connection will provide Yellowhead Trail westbound access.

This plan maintains the north-south connection for motorists, as well as a shared-use path on the west side for those who walk or cycle. This was presented as Option 2B in June 2019. 

Highlights of the Final Concept Plan

  • Constructed using both retaining walls and landscaped slopes to minimize cost and visual impact

  • Provides access to Yellowhead Trail eastbound from both 66 Street northbound and southbound via new ramp

  • Provides westbound access onto and off of Yellowhead Trail at the new 61 Street/125 Avenue collector road

  • Includes closure of all streets, alleys and driveways along Yellowhead Trail between 68 Street and 62 Street

  • Includes closure of 122 Avenue both east and west at 66 Street

  • Provides new shared-use path along the west side of 66 Street for pedestrian and cycle connections across Yellowhead Trail

  • Requires changes to some area business accesses

  • Requires some private property along 66 Street

Concept Plan

Final Concept - October 2019

The City held public engagement sessions on October 23 and 26, 2019 and invited you to tell us what you think of the final concept plan for the 66 Street Intersection.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
Final Concept Plan
Newsletter
What We Heard Report

Phase 2 Engagement: Configuration Options and Evaluation - May to August, 2019

Design options for the intersection of Yellowhead Trail and 66 Street were prepared and presented to the public for feedback.

The City held public engagement sessions on June 19 and 22, 2019 and online engagement until July 6 to help us adjust the design of the future roadway network. We invited you to help us improve:

  • The criteria that will be used to evaluate the design options

  • Proposed paths and connections for those who bike and walk

  • Accommodation of vehicles where roads and alleys will be closed to Yellowhead Trail between 68 Street and 62 Street

  • Input received during Phase 2 engagement helped refine the concept plan that was shared in fall 2019. 

Event Materials:
Display boards

Design Options:
Option 1
Option 2A
Option 2B
Option 3

Phase 1 Engagement: Listen and Learn - January to April 2019

At the beginning  of the concept planning study, the project team met with area residents, commercial property and business owners, and community organizations, as well as those who drive, bike and walk through the area. The City held public engagement sessions on March 5 and 9, and people could share their feedback online from February 21 until March 16, 2019.

We discussed plans for the removal of the traffic signals at Yellowhead Trail and 66 Street and impacts of the potential closure of 66 Street at Yellowhead Trail. We collected valuable feedback and heard how important 66 Street is to local businesses and residents.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
What We Heard Report

Concept Planning Study

A concept plan for the area surrounding 66 Street was completed in 2012, but did not include plans for the 66 Street intersection. The City launched a concept planning study for the removal of the signalized intersection at Yellowhead Trail and 66 Street and the closure of the nearby accesses to Yellowhead Trail.

The study included:

  • Reviewing the removal of the 66 Street traffic signals

  • Reviewing the closure of other nearby accesses to Yellowhead Trail between 68 Street and 62 Street

  • Determining how these changes affect area traffic flow to and from Yellowhead Trail and area properties

  • Providing new solutions for the roadway network to ensure safe and reliable operation

  • Reviewing locations for future pedestrian and cyclist connectivity opportunities

See 66 Street Overpass for additional information about this project.

Yellowhead Trail East Widening

To accommodate projected traffic growth and to improve safety and traffic flow along the roadway, Yellowhead Trail will be widened to 6 lanes starting just west of 50 Street and continuing east to Victoria Trail.

Public Information Session: November 2019

A public information session to learn more about the design plan was held in November 2019. Public and stakeholder input from summer engagement events, together with technical, safety and policy requirements, helped advise the preliminary design for Yellowhead Trail from 50 Street to the North Saskatchewan River.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
Design Plan
Fact Sheet
What We Heard Report, Fall 2019
What We Heard/What We Did Report, Winter 2019

July 2019

In July 2019, the public and stakeholders were invited to share their perspectives on how this segment of Yellowhead Trail is used. There were a variety of public engagement opportunities including public sessions, community pop-ups and stakeholder meetings.

Event Materials:
Display Boards
Design Plan
What We Heard Report, Fall 2019

See Yellowhead Trail East Widening for additional information about the project.

For More Information

Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion

Telephone

311

Email yellowhead@edmonton.ca

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