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Gateway interchange to drive council meeting

<p>City councillors face a mountain of unfinished business at today’s last council meeting before a six-week summer break — including deciding the fate of a mammoth transportation project slated for the city’s south side.</p>




“When you see that the cost has completely ballooned out of reality, you start to wonder if that’s a wise investment.”






City councillors face a mountain of unfinished business at today’s last council meeting before a six-week summer break — including deciding the fate of a mammoth transportation project slated for the city’s south side.





The city’s transportation department is weighing the options for a mega-project interchange at Gateway Boulevard and 23 Ave., which has a tire-screeching $250-million price tag.





Coun. Ron Hayter said the anticipated cost takes one’s breath away while it could have been avoided if the city had planned the area better from the beginning.





“When you see that the cost has completely ballooned out of reality, you start to wonder if that’s a wise investment of dollars, despite the transportation needs in that area,” he told Metro yesterday. “It’s all because that area was not properly designed years ago and it’s become a magnet for traffic.”





Last month, the city received two tenders from contractors on the project that rang in at nearly three times the originally estimated cost.





Contractors hope to develop four structures over three years — two going over 23 Ave. and another two over the CP rail line — and build a directional bridge to 19 Ave. The project also includes a series of retaining walls and traffic ramps. There are more collisions and traffic injuries at the Gateway Boulevard than anywhere else in the city.


 
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