CALGARY, AB (February 21, 2013): The PC government is breaking yet another promise by not completing the Macleod Trail interchange of Highway 22X (future Calgary Ring Road) by the end of next year, Wildrose Calgary-Shaw MLA Jeff Wilson said today.
Despite a live page on Alberta Transportation’s website confirming the interchange will be completed in 2014, the project is completely absent from the government’s three-year capital plan. Today, Wilson wrote to Transportation Minister Ric McIver urging him to reprioritize the project to ensure immediate completion. “The traffic bottleneck on Highway 22X at Macleod is a constant source of frustration for Calgarians,” Wilson said. “The government is leading us to believe the interchange will be finished by next year, but a closer look reveals it is nowhere on their radar screen. This is a broken promise to the people of Calgary and I hope Minister McIver will rethink his priorities.” The Wildrose 10-Year Debt-Free Capital Plan identifies the completion of the Calgary Ring Road as a priority infrastructure project that would receive immediate funding. Currently, about 70,000 vehicles use the Highway 22X/Macleod Trail interchange every day, second only to the Deerfoot Trail interchange on the Ring Road. “This part of the city has been held hostage by ongoing government negotiations for decades and the transportation network is inadequate for the volume of traffic and the number of residents we have,” Wilson said. “How this hasn’t been identified as a priority infrastructure project already is beyond me.” Wildrose Transportation and Infrastructure Critic Drew Barnes said the government’s dithering and mixed messages on the Calgary Ring Road is symptomatic of their haphazard approach to infrastructure funding. “Nobody knows what this government’s priorities are and the Macleod Trail interchange is a prime example. They say one thing to get some political points and then end up doing something completely different,” Barnes said. “This government needs to commit to an open, transparent and objectively prioritized infrastructure list so situations like this can be avoided. Albertans deserve to know what projects will be built and when.”