Winter and Construction... both tend to linger here in Southern Alberta and just as we escape from those winter driving conditions, construction season begins.
With road improvements underway in Cochrane, motorists are once again navigating through rows of pylons, detours and the inevitable construction traffic.
Peace Officer with the Town of Cochrane, Marc Gillon explains that it's particularly important to be extra vigilant while driving through those construction zones.
"The biggest thing is, of course, to be paying attention because sometimes the traffic patterns change, lanes [are] ending, merging, detours that sort of thing," explains Gillon. "So of course we want people to be paying attention. That's the most important thing and it includes distracted driving."
According to Gillon, where there's construction, there's typically a reduced speed limit in place. He says that, unlike a school or playground zone, a construction zone’s speed limit is applicable 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Motorists are reminded to follow the posted speed limit in those construction zones for the safety of construction workers and other drivers. Gillon says that hefty fines will be in place for motorists speeding through construction zones.
"When workers are present the speed fine doubles," explains Gillon. "So that's changing an $81 ticket into a $153 ticket."
He says that even when workers aren't present, there may be other driving hazards like bumps, fresh oil or loose gravel, and the reduced speed limits remain in effect.
While it may seem like an inconvenience for time being, Gillon says it's the end result that the Town is trying to achieve.
"We will be seeing those improvements to the 1A and the highway to improve those commutes," explains Gillon. "So the goal is to eventually have people get home quicker. The end goal will be that much sweeter once we get there."
We are just a few weeks into the construction season and Gillon says that is expected to ramp up during the summer months, He recommends planning your route accordingly and factoring in the construction delays.