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Thread: How would you improve the Anthony Henday?

  1. #1

    Default How would you improve the Anthony Henday?

    I'm curious what flaws or design 'shortcomings' people now see in the Anthony Henday freeway - given it's success and attractiveness to large numbers of commuters.

  2. #2

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    it's lack of a toll, both to provide funding for expansion where necessary, and to remove the expense for what could easily be self-funding infrastructure from an over-burdened provincial budget.

    Sorry.

    Speed limit could be 110.

    I'm still not a fan of the Gateway interchange, Henday is the exit and should have been on the right. Oh well.

    I almost never use the SW segment, but the concrete doesn't seem like the right choice in retrospect.

    On/off ramps (to city streets, not to other highways) shouldn't be symmetrical. On ramps should be the smooth curve that they are, for accelleration and smooth traffic. OFF ramps, on the other hand, should be more like the old-school ones where the first 3/4 of the ramp is mostly straight for deceleration, and then the curve should be sharper. Some are fine on the west side, but I find EB on the north side to SB on 66st doesn't slow you down, it feels like it should be still 80 when it's really supposed to be a 60km/hr street. The design should slow you down, it shouldn't have to rely on signs.
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    On the SW segment, remove the at-grade right only entrances/exits at 127 Street SB and 119 Street NB. Until such time as a bridge is constructed on 119 Street over Blackmud Creek at which point a proper interchange could be considered, a couple of bulldozers could remove the only remaining at-grade entrances/exits onto the Henday in a matter of hours.

    Also on the SW segment, the Whitemud and 87 Avenue interchanges are located too close together to allow for efficient all direction traffic movement at both. Since Whitemud moves considerably more traffic than 87 Avenue and should be given priority, remove the northbound exit from the Henday onto 87 Avenue. The northbound exit from the Whitemud onto the Henday could then be reconstructed to merge onto the Henday further south and not in the same location as the slower northbound cloverleaf traffic off of 87 Avenue.

  4. #4

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    Add a 3rd lane on the SW, as the right lane gets to a standstill due to mass amounts of merging traffic. In my opinion, a significant amount of the problem is how fast the city is developing Windermere - the traffic coming out of there and from Terwillegar has completely overloaded what the ramps and merge lanes can handle.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    I'm not answering this question until the NE leg is completed and I have a chance to drive a complete circuit.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  6. #6

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    Mind you, the ultimate stage of the Anthony Henday is going to be 8-lanes. I don't think that will be required anytime soon, but getting the SW to 6 lanes is imperative. But unfortunately, I do not think there is much momentum at the moment for that.

    With the 6 laning of the southwest leg, you'll also see a drastic design change to the current interchanges at Whitemud and Terwillegar.

  7. #7

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    10-12 lanes in the west section actually.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    10-12 lanes in the west section actually.
    It's a good thing the initial North Sask bridge buildout was two lanes each way then. That's the biggest and most expensive portion to alter, you'd think if they were projecting a widening, they would have overbuilt the initial build by a lane or two.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    10-12 lanes in the west section actually.
    It's a good thing the initial North Sask bridge buildout was two lanes each way then. That's the biggest and most expensive portion to alter, you'd think if they were projecting a widening, they would have overbuilt the initial build by a lane or two.
    The consideration is there - look at the piers on the SW bridges. It's made to accommodate another two lanes for each direction. Building those additional lanes would be a headache for traffic though.


  10. #10

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    How would you improve the Anthony Henday?

    Build another ring road around it.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  11. #11
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    6 lanes in the SW
    Redo Terwillegar interchange
    Redo Whitemud west interchange
    Remove 119/127 exits

  12. #12

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    Stoney Trail NW is currently having the Sarcee Trail interchange upgraded, after already having the entire stretch increased by a lane. I don't get how the province can't upgrade SW Henday when it's clear it needs help

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    I'm curious what flaws or design 'shortcomings' people now see in the Anthony Henday freeway - given it's success and attractiveness to large numbers of commuters.
    Make it "user pay."

    Sick of my taxpayer dollars going into toys for the rich which I will never even have a hope of using and not only costs over an order of magnitude more than the arena, but will only create yet more sprawl which will siphon yet more money from the most needy inner-city neighbourhoods straight into the pockets of the oil companies.

    /halfsarcastic
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    I'm still not a fan of the Gateway interchange, Henday is the exit and should have been on the right. Oh well.
    Disagree. With the proximity of Ellerslie Rd, there's no way you could have westbound go right without massively increasing the length and cost of the flyover, and ultimately decreasing its speed. Really the whole interchange would have to be redesigned and it's already in close quarters. In the end, more traffic goes west than east, so it still works in that the lesser volume is exiting to the right.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.ike View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    10-12 lanes in the west section actually.
    It's a good thing the initial North Sask bridge buildout was two lanes each way then. That's the biggest and most expensive portion to alter, you'd think if they were projecting a widening, they would have overbuilt the initial build by a lane or two.
    The consideration is there - look at the piers on the SW bridges. It's made to accommodate another two lanes for each direction. Building those additional lanes would be a headache for traffic though.

    I know the piers are prepped for it, however I am curious why they didn't add at least one additional lane from the start, as that is by far the biggest bottleneck in every regard when it does come time to expand. Lane reductions will need to occur and the bridge is already a tremendous bottleneck.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    How would you improve the Anthony Henday?

    Build another ring road around it.
    Complete the inner ring road, actually. 75 St/YHD/170 St/WMD.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    How would you improve the Anthony Henday?

    Build another ring road around it.
    Complete the inner ring road, actually. 75 St/YHD/170 St/WMD.
    I'll second this. Also if its somehow possible, a fast freeflow connector into downtown, not sure how though.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by B.ike View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    10-12 lanes in the west section actually.
    It's a good thing the initial North Sask bridge buildout was two lanes each way then. That's the biggest and most expensive portion to alter, you'd think if they were projecting a widening, they would have overbuilt the initial build by a lane or two.
    The consideration is there - look at the piers on the SW bridges. It's made to accommodate another two lanes for each direction. Building those additional lanes would be a headache for traffic though.

    I know the piers are prepped for it, however I am curious why they didn't add at least one additional lane from the start, as that is by far the biggest bottleneck in every regard when it does come time to expand. Lane reductions will need to occur and the bridge is already a tremendous bottleneck.

    There's plenty of room there to re-purpose a shoulder, and still have one for the odd stall. Maybe enough for 4 lanes each way, but no shoulders then. That wouldn't be ideal but there are lots of other bridges around without full shoulders, but the 3 lane no-construction makes a whole lot more sense than spending big money to maintain the shoulder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    it's lack of a toll, both to provide funding for expansion where necessary, and to remove the expense for what could easily be self-funding infrastructure from an over-burdened provincial budget.

    Sorry.

    Speed limit could be 110.

    I'm still not a fan of the Gateway interchange, Henday is the exit and should have been on the right. Oh well.

    I almost never use the SW segment, but the concrete doesn't seem like the right choice in retrospect.

    On/off ramps (to city streets, not to other highways) shouldn't be symmetrical. On ramps should be the smooth curve that they are, for accelleration and smooth traffic. OFF ramps, on the other hand, should be more like the old-school ones where the first 3/4 of the ramp is mostly straight for deceleration, and then the curve should be sharper. Some are fine on the west side, but I find EB on the north side to SB on 66st doesn't slow you down, it feels like it should be still 80 when it's really supposed to be a 60km/hr street. The design should slow you down, it shouldn't have to rely on signs.
    All of those, especially the speed limit and the wrong side entry / exit at highway 2.

    Should have been a flyover / under for 167 Av in the NE so you could still use Fort Road to access the greenhouse district.

    Should not have changed the alignment of 127 St in the NW.

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    Westbound I don't feel like the biggest bottleneck is over the river, it's pretty much right at 111 St with all the traffic merging. By the time time it gets to the river traffic is at least moving so a couple of lanes up to the river wouldn't be overly expensive but would make a huge difference in the interim.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acey View Post
    Westbound I don't feel like the biggest bottleneck is over the river, it's pretty much right at 111 St with all the traffic merging. By the time time it gets to the river traffic is at least moving so a couple of lanes up to the river wouldn't be overly expensive but would make a huge difference in the interim.
    That section is definitely another spot that is way over demand as well during peak hours. However freeing that up before the bridge in my mind would end up making the bridge that much worse.

    I don't know what is is about that bridge but combined with the hill its probably one of the worst sections in my mind, nothing there is obstructing traffic, yet it always slows to a halt... are people afraid of it or something?

    I get it in the winter the hills are definitely slippery, but if people just kept moving it wouldn't be so bad.

  22. #22

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    ^It used to be a photo radar hotspot, that little utility building right before the bridge going westbound was the hiding spot. Haven't seen them there past few years, but that's personally why I typically slow down before the bridge - especially since the descent obviously increases your speed as well.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Acey View Post
    Westbound I don't feel like the biggest bottleneck is over the river, it's pretty much right at 111 St with all the traffic merging. By the time time it gets to the river traffic is at least moving so a couple of lanes up to the river wouldn't be overly expensive but would make a huge difference in the interim.
    That section is definitely another spot that is way over demand as well during peak hours. However freeing that up before the bridge in my mind would end up making the bridge that much worse.

    I don't know what is is about that bridge but combined with the hill its probably one of the worst sections in my mind, nothing there is obstructing traffic, yet it always slows to a halt... are people afraid of it or something?

    I get it in the winter the hills are definitely slippery, but if people just kept moving it wouldn't be so bad.
    Trucks have trouble maintaining speed up the hill, and then the slowdown just pushes backwards. Just like when you have an accident, clear the accident, but the effects of the slowdown can linger for awhile after, even more so if the road is congested.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ponto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Acey View Post
    Westbound I don't feel like the biggest bottleneck is over the river, it's pretty much right at 111 St with all the traffic merging. By the time time it gets to the river traffic is at least moving so a couple of lanes up to the river wouldn't be overly expensive but would make a huge difference in the interim.
    That section is definitely another spot that is way over demand as well during peak hours. However freeing that up before the bridge in my mind would end up making the bridge that much worse.

    I don't know what is is about that bridge but combined with the hill its probably one of the worst sections in my mind, nothing there is obstructing traffic, yet it always slows to a halt... are people afraid of it or something?

    I get it in the winter the hills are definitely slippery, but if people just kept moving it wouldn't be so bad.
    Trucks have trouble maintaining speed up the hill, and then the slowdown just pushes backwards. Just like when you have an accident, clear the accident, but the effects of the slowdown can linger for awhile after, even more so if the road is congested.
    A similar thing happens where people exit to Gateway Boulevard (east bound). They don't keep up their speed until they are in the off ramp lane. Instead they begin to slow BEFORE they exit the right-hand-through-lane, so they needlessly create that reverse domino effect of slowing traffic in a through-lane.

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    The other thing on EB Henday at Gateway I've found is that this sign gantry screws people up.



    They're already going 90 because they're unfamiliar, and then they see these signs and think they need to be in the left lane to stay EB on Henday so they merge over. The sign isn't technically incorrect... but WB is also 2 thru lanes and has 2 exits in quick succession but is not signed as such, and thus I have never seen this issue WB.

  26. #26

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    Oh, that's one other thing that kinda bothers me.

    Minor, but highway signs are meant for ON the highway. I can't think of the other entrances right now, but it seem so out of place southbound on st. Albert trail, finally accelerating to 60 from 50 or more likely a stop, and there's this huge sign meant to be read at 130 and built to withstand a tornado.

    I guess it's nice to know to exit right to go left, but the whole sign doesn't fit on what is increasingly just another arterial street, less and less the highway it used to be.
    There can only be one.

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    ^ and ^^ Here are links to both confusing roadway signs.

    Going eastbound before the 111 Street overpass you are told to be in the left lane to exit North on Gateway Boulevard. This sign would lead a person to think that you need to exit off the Henday from the left hand lane:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.43463...7i13312!8i6656

    Then, a few hundred metres further east before the Calgary Trail interchange you are told to be in the right lane to exit North on Gateway Boulevard:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@53.43562...7i13312!8i6656

    As Acey points out, staying in the right lane is the best option to exit north onto Gateway Boulevard whereas the signs suggest weaving back and forth between lanes within a very short distance.

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    Yeah it's clearly signed like this because the SE leg didn't exist at the time, but after opening they never bothered to fix the signage. If all traffic was exiting to Gateway it would be fine.

  29. #29

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    Sometimes I think promotional signage saying something like: Slow to Maintain the Flow, "Mind the Gap"
    might do some good in highlighting how their behavior affects smooth going.

    Whenever you come to a near complete stop, that means someone up ahead didn't drive very smoothly and efficiently to let merging cars merge or they slowed before getting into the exit lane, or they drove too fast only to slam on the brakes...

    Abdulhai says bad driving habits, such as tailgating, which causes sharp braking and a domino effect that leads to stop-and-go traffic, should be addressed through education. But he stresses... See below
    How bad driving habits are causing GTA traffic gridlock
    An Ontario traffic expert explains how bad driving culture contributes to congestion on GTA highways.



    In Germany, drivers are extremely disciplined which decreases bad driving and in turn decreases congestion, Abdulhai explains.

    He gives the example of speeding into a known congestion zone to explain how good driving can keep vehicles moving and eliminate stop-and-go traffic.

    When approaching a known congestion zone such as an accident or construction area, drivers often accelerate before braking hard once they are very near the stopped car ahead. But research shows that this approach speeds up the amount of time it takes all cars to reach stopped traffic by pushing the so-called line of zero movement further away from the congestion cause. In other words cars are forced to stop sooner and for longer. It then takes much longer for all traffic to begin moving again. A smooth traffic flow keeps the line of zero movement to a smaller area, trapping fewer vehicles.

    “People want to make up the most distance in the least amount of time,” Abdulhai says. “But it’s actually worse and increases the chance for a rear-end collision.”

    “If people decelerate well ahead of a congestion zone, they won’t be stuck in a jam as long.”

    Abdulhai says bad driving habits, such as tailgating, which causes sharp braking and a domino effect that leads to stop-and-go traffic, should be addressed through education. But he stresses that better traffic systems, such as metered lights at on-ramps, congestion pricing and proper speed limits also need to be implemented.

    In Germany, the driver’s test is so difficult (requiring months of preparation) that the U.S. army recently complained to German authorities about the failure rate of its members and their spouses who are based there but cannot drive.

    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/201..._gridlock.html


    Zipper merging signs would as help teach people better ways of driving and it would reduce bad behavior like driving on the shoulder, squeezing people that are actually trying to use zipper mergering out, etc.
    Last edited by KC; 17-09-2016 at 07:25 AM.

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    They should have zipper merge signs in advance if they want zipper merges to happen.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    They should have zipper merge signs in advance if they want zipper merges to happen.
    Agree.

    Sometimes I call it the Anthony-Allday because of the constant long delays.

    Before every off ramp that lacks an advance dedicated lane, I'd like signs saying "Maintain speed until in off ramp lane".

    Basically, create consistent predictable driving behavior through educational signs.

    At the Gateway interchange maybe signage or even lighting to get through traffic to take the left lane so all the on ramp traffic can get on without all the current slowing and gridlock. Adding a lane of course would be the correct fix.

    Maybe lower rush hour speed limits in gridlock prone areas so the traffic flows rather than grids to a halt. But that problem is well beyond my ability to understand as to why it all happens - over and over, every day.
    Last edited by KC; 01-10-2016 at 11:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    How would you improve the Anthony Henday?

    Build another ring road around it.
    Complete the inner ring road, actually. 75 St/YHD/170 St/WMD.
    I'll second this. Also if its somehow possible, a fast freeflow connector into downtown, not sure how though.
    Agreed. Complete the inner ring road to free/express way standards, and figure out a way to get traffic in and out of downtown quick.


    As for the Henday though, building collector lanes off the express lanes would be nice, force people who are exiting/entering the freeway into separate lanes where they can slow or accelerate as they feel comfortable without slowing traffic that is not exiting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    They should have zipper merge signs in advance if they want zipper merges to happen.
    Agree.

    Sometimes I call if the Anthony-Allday because of the constant long delays.

    Before every off ramp that lacks an advance dedicated lane, I'd like signs saying "Maintain speed until in off ramp lane".

    Basically, create consistent predictable driving behavior through educational signs.

    At the Gateway interchange maybe signage or even lighting to get through traffic to take the left lane so all the on ramp traffic can get on without all the current slowing and gridlock. Adding a lane of course would be the correct fix.

    Maybe lower rush hour speed limits in gridlock prone areas so the traffic flows rather than grids to a halt. But that problem is well beyond my ability to understand as to why it all happens - over and over, every day.
    Happens on the SW as there is too much traffic trying to exit and enter the Henday within such a short distance, combine that with drivers that have may have had their drivers licenses for years but have very little actual experience behind the wheel and you get what we have on the Henday twice a day!

    Way to fix it would be to build collector lanes to funnel the entering and exit traffic onto their own right of way so that two or three interchanges utilize the same length of collector lanes leaving the through traffic to flow smoothly

  34. #34

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    I emailed Lafarge Infrastructure about this today (they are currently responsible for the operation and maintenance of AHD in this area). They will take it up with AB Transportation and see what their thoughts are.

    I proposed something like this (but communicated that regardless of what the final sign looks like, the current one isn't the best):



    EDIT: Also brought up the sign just before 111 St on EB AHD as pointed out by East McCauley.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acey View Post
    The other thing on EB Henday at Gateway I've found is that this sign gantry screws people up.



    They're already going 90 because they're unfamiliar, and then they see these signs and think they need to be in the left lane to stay EB on Henday so they merge over. The sign isn't technically incorrect... but WB is also 2 thru lanes and has 2 exits in quick succession but is not signed as such, and thus I have never seen this issue WB.
    Last edited by HarjotG01; 02-10-2016 at 08:35 PM.

  35. #35

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    I’m being pretty picky here, maybe even mistaken as I barely noticed it due to the traffic I was in, but I thought I saw this:

    On the west side of the city, for west-bound tragic exiting off the Yellowhead onto the Anthony Henday - on the AH approach lane - there appeared to be turn arrows painted on the road. The approach however splits, one going straight and one turning north, so I think it’s ond lane turning into a southbound lane and a northbound lane. So shouldn’t such painted symbols show two arrows, one turning and one going straight?
    Last edited by KC; 05-10-2018 at 04:00 PM.

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    At long last, the dangerous 127 Street right only turns on the SW Henday are closing tomorrow. You may recall the province tried to close 127 Street access after the NE Henday opened in Fall 2016. But after a public outcry spearheaded by former City councillor Bryan Anderson the province agreed to leave them open for another 18 months.

    The 127 exit has to close now in any case to allow for construction of the 135 Avenue on/off ramps to be completed. Keeping my finger crossed that this time SW commuters are prepared to take alternate routes, and there aren't people complaining they were caught completely unawares.
    Last edited by East McCauley; 22-05-2019 at 02:11 PM.

  37. #37

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    135 Street on/off ramps. Yes... Which has always been the long term plans.

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    At long last, the dangerous 127 Street right only turns on the SW Henday are closing tomorrow. You may recall the province tried to close 127 Street access after the NE Henday opened in Fall 2016. But after a public outcry spearheaded by former City councillor Bryan Anderson the province agreed to leave them open for another 18 months.

    The 127 exit has to close now in any case to allow for construction of the 135 Avenue on/off ramps to be completed. Keeping my finger crossed that this time SW commuters are prepared to take alternate routes, and there aren't people complaining they were caught completely unawares.
    They've had a sign up warning people that 127 St was closing for like two weeks. So unless people are driving by with their eyes closed, they need to give their heads a shake if they complain.

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    Two weeks is plenty of time for moaners to find something else to moan about.
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  40. #40

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    They can moan all they want, 127th street exit has been completely removed, and the new 135th onramps are now being finished. If you try to take 127th exit, you will smack in to a concrete girder and if you manage to get past that, you'll find the old exits have been torn out.

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