Last Friday was a great day for Cochrane and the region as a whole. We have been pushing for upgrades to the Highway 1A and 22 intersection for years and the announcement finally arrived. Since day one of the transition of provincial power to the NDP government, I have been writing letters, meeting with the Minister of Infrastructure Brian Mason and working with our MLA Cam Westhead to drive home our concerns about the importance of this much-needed road work. Working to resolve transportation issues in the town has been a top priority for this council and with Friday’s announcement we have now addressed the two largest road and bridge infrastructure projects within the town.
A few months ago, I reported that we had come to agreement with all the landowners on the south and north sides of the river to address the road and bridge alignment needs for James Walker Trail. This allows us to continue to work on the extensions of Griffin Road to Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre and the location for the new bridge across the river to tie into James Walker Trail. This work has already gone to tender and you can expect to see work started this spring in that area. Work on the bridge design itself has also started.
With these road agreements in place, council can now deal with the development area known as South Bow Landing. Future school sites, a large grocery retailer and more retail offerings as well as the James Walker Trail extension itself are located in this area. Advancing South Bow Landing will provide much needed services to residents south of the Bow River.
In regards to timing of the Highway 1A and 22 intersection, the province has already put out the tenders for the detailed project design work. Plans will be in place to deal with the construction and to control the flow of traffic during this time.
Once construction starts, it will likely be more challenging for a period of time, but in the end, we will ultimately have what is needed to better serve all our residents.
Be sure to come down to the Cochrane Trade Show, May 6 and 7 and meet your council members. At the booth this year there will be a display to provide updates on major town projects that are underway or poised to start. Our booth will be located in the new curling rink/multisport centre at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.
I am very proud of everything this council has been working on and achieved, and we look forward to seeing you at the trade show!
Mayor Ivan Brooker