Transportation plan needs more investigation
The walking bridge at Mirror Lake used to roughly be where a bridge was located to cross Mirror Lake into Downtown Camrose. The Transportation Masterplan called for a new bridge to be constructed for vehicles as another entry point to the downtown core but was rejected by City Council on Sept. 5. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian/Postmedia Network
City of Camrose administration have been told by council the Transportation Master Plan needs more work.
The plan was submitted to council during the meeting of a whole on Sept. 5. The big stumbling block was the outline to have a bridge built over Mirror Lake, extending from 53 Street to connect with 48A Avenue in 2021. The idea being that as the city continues to grow it would improve traffic flow from the south west to the downtown core.
The plan, however, was not received well by all members of council and administration was asked to investigate the idea further.
“We have a lot of people trying to get across 48 Avenue and go north into downtown and that puts a lot of pressure on 48 Avenue,” said City of Camrose Director of Engineering for Infrastructure and Planning Jeremy Enarson. “We recognize that there are other potential drivers than just the transportation needs. You have to balance that with the environmental needs, the social aesthetic needs of the city. But the reason why that bridge is included in the Transportation Master Plan … is just recognizing that from a transportation aspect, there is a need to get people north and south into the city.”
The idea is not a new one. There used to be a bridge in that location, and until about 60 years ago when the 48th Avenue bridge was completed, was the only way to get from one end of the city to the other. The bridge eventually turned into a pedestrian bridge and then in 1996 was replaced by the current green walking bridge that connects the walking trail that encompasses the lake.
There are other ways from the west side of the city to the downtown, like Grand Drive, but there are limitations to the current designs due to the footprint of those roads and the residential neighbourhoods they go through.
In 2026, the plan recommended investments to 53 Street to accommodate two driving lanes and higher traffic, and the modification of pavement markings to Marler Drive.
2036 investments included expanding 48 Avenue two driving lanes west of the city to Range Road 204, and to modify 47 Street Northbound to two lanes by adjusting pavement markings.
There was also considerable time spent on looking at other modes of transportation including transit. Currently there is a single bus pilot project in the city, but Enarson says the demand for the bus is only increasing.
The plan also took into consideration further development of active transportation by improving the ability of cyclists to manoeuvre throughout Camrose by properly integrating routes on secondary roads and trails.
“Part of what we’re looking at here ... is looking at opportune locations where shared use of existing lanes by both vehicles and bicyclists would be appropriate,” said Enarson.