Local businesses put foot down on ring road – Metro US

Local businesses put foot down on ring road

Business owners parked along the planned corridor for Calgary’s southeast ring road are calling on the province to go back to the drawing board.

The 84 Street SE Access Association will huddle with members at a meeting today in hopes of rallying support to force provincial transportation planners to ensure two key interchanges are retained in the ring road plan.

Dave Gilkes, the group’s president, said merchants are miffed the province has scuttled plans for interchanges at 61 Avenue and 106 Avenue, a move that will cost area businesses millions due to extra travel costs.

“The ring road is an excellent piece of infrastructure for southern Alberta, but without these key interchanges it’s going to highly affect the Alberta economy,” he said. “This area got the shaft.”

Earlier this month the province announced plans for the 25-kilometre, six-lane stretch of roadway running from 17 Avenue SE to Highway 22X with an aim to complete the project by 2013.

Gilkes added his group is scheduled to meet with Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette on April 8, and he hopes to make an 11th-hour appeal to keep the two interchanges that have been scrapped.