Traffic woes are nothing new in southwest Edmonton and the latest work on Anthony Henday Drive may have many drivers finding other routes for the next few weekends.
After weeks of both directions of traffic using the eastbound bridge over the river in the southwest on the weekends, that flow will switch over to the other bridge deck.
It has to do with work to expand each bridge deck from two to three lanes of traffic, as part of the overall much-needed widening of the southwest leg of the ring road.
Since the end of July, the North Saskatchewan westbound bridge has been closed between 8 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Monday each week and traffic moved to one lane in each direction on the eastbound bridge.
Crews have now completed adding girders for expansion of the westbound bridge and are preparing to begin work on the eastbound stretch.
That means starting Sept. 29, the eastbound bridge will be closed from Thursday at 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Monday each week.
The province said the closures will happen like that each weekend for the next four to six weeks, depending on weather conditions.
Oversize and overweight loads will not be permitted at any time during this work, and the speed limit across the bridge will be 60 km/h.
Drivers in the city are are advised to use Whitemud Drive as an alternate route.
Those looking to bypass the city can also take Highway 60 through Devon, although similar bridge deck work there all summer has resulted in one lane of traffic in each direction on a single bridge.
The Henday was originally designed to meet traffic capacity requirements through 2020 with a plan to accommodate up to 40,000 vehicles per day.
The initial ring road took 26 years to build in several stages, and as it grew so too did the surrounding neighbourhoods.
That initial capacity in southwest Edmonton was surpassed in 2009 and by 2020, traffic volumes averaged 80,000 vehicles per day, according to Carmacks, the construction contractor working on the expansion.
Work to expand an 18-kilometre stretch between 111 Street and Whitemud Drive began in 2020.
Adding an extra lane in each direction is expected to accommodating up to 120,000 vehicles per day.
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