July 5th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 27
Open House to discuss Highway 3
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Archive photo
Lisa Sygutek
Pass Herald Publisher
On Tuesday, June 27 ISL Engineering and Land Services, held an open house at MD McEachern community facility to get feedback from the community regarding the Sentinel to Pincher Station Functional Planning Study.

The twinning of Highway 3 through the Crowsnest Pass has been under discussion since the early 60s with no resolution on the project in over 50 years.

A spokesperson for ISL stated, “There is no design in progress, the intent of the open house is to let people know who we are and that we are tasked with the study.” Alberta Transportation has contracted ISL for the study of the future highway.

According to the spokesperson, “our study alone is a two to three year project with something the size of this corridor. We are here to gather feedback from the public, look into historical data, gather applicable information such as options for alignments, noise impacts, air monitoring, first nations consultations, traffic analysis, functional planning and proposed interchange.”
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ISL handed out a feedback form and a card where people can go online and offer their opinion on where the future road changes should take place. The deadline for feedback is July 7, 2017.

ISL would not confirm where the possible routes for the highway could potentially be, however, it has been suggested by sources that there are three possible routes.

Route 1

To preserve the same route Highway 3 takes now, right up until the corner of where Tim Horton’s is located. From that location, it will turn and go south, crossing the wetlands and the river, and then follow along the south side of the valley towards the Sentinel area.

With this route there will be significant environmental impact to the wetlands area.

Route 2

Again, to keep the highway in it’s current place until the former 52-acre Bridgegate property upon which it will bisect through and come out near Water Magic in Blairmore and then proceed south.

Route 3

The highway will go through the old Crowsnest Centre land and through the Lost Lemon Campground and then south.

All routes will bypass the town of Coleman and all the businesses along the highway. The economic impact to those businesses will be debilitating.
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According to a source the municipality had two offers for the site of the former Crowsnest Centre. Once the buyers found out about uncertainty of the highway, they pulled their offers.

According to a business owner, “The community is at a standstill until the government figures out what it wants to do. No one will invest in a community that has no clue where the highway is going to go.”

He further states, the appeal of the area is that it has so much traffic for commercial business to flourish, if the traffic isn’t there, chances are neither will the business.”

The owner associated the change in the highway to what’s happened to the town of Monarch when the highway was moved. “You drive through that town now and you can see the proverbial tumbleweeds being blown down Main Street; that could be us.”

According to a person who attended the open house, but also wants to remain anonymous, “it’s frustrating, I own a house in Frank and if I want to sell it who the heck is going to buy it.” The sentiment is that the town and growth is at a standstill until the government decides on it wants to do to the highway.

One old timer said, “heck they’ve been talking about this since 1962 and still haven’t done a darn thing about it, these open houses are a waste of time.”

He further stated, “The study is slated to be complete in spring 2019 and there will be a provincial election in May of 2019, so again the project may be up in the air depending on the outcome of the election.”
ISL is planning three more Open Houses in the future.
July 5th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 27
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