The elimination of on-street parking and re-lining will allow a second lane of traffic to travel south from the Hwy. 1A and Centre Ave. intersection to 1st St.

Mayor Jeff Genung says work on the project will begin shortly, and won't take long to complete. It's the first of a four-phase project to address heavy contest at the intersection. The timeline also complements the anticipated fall opening of the new bridge across the Bow River by the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre.

In addition, there is a change to residential street access off of Centre Ave. Intersections at Mountain St., William St., 2nd St. and all alleyways off Centre Ave. will be right-in/right-out access only. Powell St. will remain an all-turns intersection.

Four hundred notices of the project were delivered to nearby residents and businesses impacted by the project.

Genung says he hasn't receive any feedback on the elimination of on-street parking on Centre Ave.

"I would imagine there will be some inconvenienced residents and businesses throughout this, but the greater Cochrane residents will likely to be so in favour of some improvement in that area to allow the traffic to move just a little bit quicker."

In November, town council approved a four-phase approach to improve the traffic hot spot. To be fully realized it calls for expenditures of nearly $20 million and approvals from Alberta Transportation. Ideally, it will also include a partnership with the Alberta Government.

Also in phase one is the completion of detailed design and costing for the Centre Ave. widening to four lanes and Highway 1A/Centre Ave. intersection improvements.

The approved schedule calls for phase two to proceed in 2021. It includes improvements to the Hwy. 1A/Centre Ave. intersection improvements, including dual left-turn lanes off 1A onto Centre, and additional westbound and eastbound through lanes on Hwy. 1A between 4th Ave. and Centre Ave. The project is contingent on approval from Alberta Transportation and is estimated to cost $5.6 million.

In 2022, they intend to complete the widening of Centre Ave. widening to four lanes at an estimated cost of $4.5 million. 

Phase four includes the long-anticipated construction of the realignment of 4th Ave. to 5th Ave. at an estimated cost of $7 million. This project is also contingent on approval from Alberta Transportation.

Genung says imrpoving this corridor has been made one of council's top priority, in addition to the Hwy. 1A-22 interchange.

"We're looking for a partnership with the province on that. There's an eagerness of council to move forward with getting something done. As we witnessed on 1A and 22, and 1A-22 twinning to Gleneagles, it's been a long wait, so we're looking at options on how we can move that forward quicker and get something done sooner."