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Cardiff Corner could get new look

Residents of Morinville could be seeing red, yellow, and green at a notorious intersection on the southern edge of the community.

Residents of Morinville could be seeing red, yellow, and green at a notorious intersection on the southern edge of the community.

Alberta Transportation is studying possible improvements to the intersection of Highway 2 and Cardiff Road — commonly called Cardiff Corner — and traffic lights are one of the options on the table.

Department spokesperson Heather Kazsuba said they want to make the intersection safer and, while she emphasized nothing has been decided, traffic lights are on the table.

“We have not made a decision about the use of a traffic signal, it is just one of the options we are looking at.”

The intersection is also being studied as part of the proposed Highway 2 re-alignment, connecting with Ray Gibbon Drive and the Anthony Henday and is slated to eventually become a full interchange.

Kazsuba said that plan hasn’t changed, but the department is looking at short-term improvements.

“That location has been identified for a future interchange, although it is likely 20 years in the future. What we are looking at right now are options for addressing the immediate safety concerns.”

Cassia said there are other possibilities to improve the intersection and no decisions will be made before the government gets public input.

“Prior to moving forward, if it were lights or another solution, we would have a public open house.”

Morinville Mayor Lloyd Bertschi said the intersection is a long-standing sticking point for the town and he is glad to see it getting attention.

“We would much prefer to see an overpass, but we recognize that safety is the top priority and being in the queue for an overpass is much better than not being.”

Bertschi said that, given the cost estimates he understands why lights could be a workable short-term fix.

“The numbers they have told us is that it is about $3 million for lights and $30 million for an interchange.”

Staff Sgt. Mac Richards, commander of the Morinville detachment, said the intersection is a consistent trouble spot with three fatal and two serious injury crashes in the last six years.

While he welcomes improvements, he said the major problem at Cardiff Corner is not the road, but the drivers using it.

“It is a flat intersection with good visibility in all directions.”

He said while there are plenty of collisions all over the county no single intersection draws more crashes than Cardiff Corner.

“We have a lot of crashes on Highway 37, for example, but they are spread out all along the highway, not in the one spot.

Kaszuba said there is no definite timeline for improving the intersection, but stressed it was being worked on.