May 22nd, 2024

City hopes CPKC co-operates with intersection vision

By Medicine Hat News on April 27, 2024.

The intersection of Kipling Street and Kingsway Avenue (becoming Dunmore Road) is scene in this September 2022 file photo. City road engineers are determining improvements for the tight intersection.--News File Photo

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One of the most congested intersections in Medicine Hat could be opened up over the next few years, according to city roads officials lobbying CPKC railways to remove a spur line that crosses Dunmore Road near the Seven Persons Creek.

The line leads to the former P&H grain elevator further along Kipling Street, but the facility closed to grain deliveries after 2020 and is now privately owned with the intention of redeveloping the land as non-industrial use.

With no more trains crossing the connection between Kingsway and Dunmore at the Shannon Bridge, more room for intersection improvements could be opened if the line was removed, said city development division head Pat Bohan.

“We are doing road rehab on Dunmore Road (this summer) and we are talking to Canadian Pacific about potentially removing those tracks,” said Bohan, referring to asphalt resurfacing of the area this summer.

Agreement might not be made on the rails or right-of-way – which is federally controlled and not subject to local government authority – until after the current work is complete, said Bohan.

But, he added, the change could be worked into other near term work.

“We are going to go through some preliminary design work on Kingsway,” said Bohan, adding that results from this year’s remake of Division Avenue – adding trail way and some traffic changes – will be evaluated first.

“We’re contemplating a similar concept on Kingsway to Division, though that’s a couple years out.”

For more than 10 years, the city’s road priority list has outlined the need for improvements at the busy meeting of four crosstown routes.

But with built up development, the rail line, a bridge, an abandoned gas well and the nearby creek banks in vicinity to the roadway, transportation planners have said options for technical and physical changes are limited.

Two years ago, the city dedicated a single right-hand turn lane for drivers going southward onto Kipling Street leading to the Allowance Avenue overpass.

The line also bisects a city storage yard, accessed by Marshall Avenue, that has been used on decreasing basis over several years. In 2021, development officials said the land next to the Seven Persons Creek could be examined for potential housing or mixed commercial uses.

Railroads are traditionally leery toward abandoning track considering the difficulty in getting new lines approved and the cost of reclaiming older ones.

All railroads must provide notice of intentions to abandon track on a three-year rolling basis as a requirement in the Canada Transportation Act.

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