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Highway 1 Indian Head Study

The Ministry of Highways commissioned a study of Highways 1 and 56 in Indian Head.

The study focused on the intersection of the highways and consider realignment of Highway 56. It will also provide recommendations for the Highway 1 and Grid 619 (east Indian Head access) intersection.

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1. Study Background

The Highway 1 and Highway 56 intersection serves Indian Head, the RM of Indian Head and the Katepwa and Mission Lakes area.

The Ministry of Highways continues to work on safety and capacity improvements and feedback is vital to help guide future improvements.

A survey was open to the public to provide feedback on the proposed safety improvements for two weeks in June and closed on June 30, 2022.

Once the feedback has been evaluated, traffic engineers will determine a preferred option and refine the design before presenting it at a future public engagement event. A final report will be presented following that.

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2. Study Options

The interchange options consider the following:

  • What is the cost to build and maintain it?
  • How does it impact existing and future development?
  • Can it accommodate increased traffic volumes?
  • How does it benefit area residents?
  • How does it accommodate heavy vehicles?
  • How does it improve safety?
  • How much additional land is required?
  • Does it meet industry standards and best practices?
  • How is access impacted to the town?
  • How is existing business access impacted?
  • How quickly and easily can it be constructed?

All the options improve access to Indian Head from Highway 1, while reducing the number of collisions and severity. The timing of construction will depend on how quickly development occurs in the area.

Option 1 - Diamond Interchange

A diamond interchange at the existing location requires an overpass where Highway 56 crosses Highway 1. Traffic gets onto and off Highway 1 using ramps. Traffic signals will likely be required where the ramps meet Highway 56.

Key Characteristics

  • Encroaches on existing development in the northwest quadrant of the Highway 1 and Highway 56 intersection
  • Restricts access along Highway 56 due to embankments
  • Requires realignment of Johnston Avenue closer to the railway crossing
  • Highway 1 and Grid 619 intersection (east Indian Head access) must be converted to right-in/right out only
  • Highway 1 and Grid intersection to the west must be converted to right-in/right-out only

Option 2 – Partial Cloverleaf

A partial cloverleaf at the existing intersection requires an overpass where Highway 56 crosses Highway 1. Loop ramps replace left turns from Highway 56 to Highway 1. Other traffic uses on- and off-ramps. Traffic lights will likely be required at the off-ramps leading to Highway 56.

Key Characteristics

  • More free flow movements than Option 1
  • Encroaches on existing development in the northwest quadrant of the Highway 1 and Highway 56 intersection (less impact than Option 1)
  • Restricts access along Highway 56 due to embankments
  • Requires realignment of Johnston Avenue closer to the railway crossing
  • Highway 1 and Grid 619 intersection (east Indian Head access) must be converted to right-in / right out only
  • Highway 1 and Grid intersection to the west must be converted to right-in / right-out only

Option 3 – Diamond Interchange West of Existing Location

A diamond interchange west of the existing intersection requires an overpass where Highway 56 crosses Highway 1. Traffic gets onto and off Highway 1 using ramps. The interchange is located further west to avoid impact on existing businesses. Traffic lights will likely be required at the off-ramps leading to Highway 56.

Key Characteristics

  • Existing development properties are not impacted
  • Facilitates access to future development
  • More space between the Highway 56 and Johnston Avenue intersection and the railway crossing
  • Separation between Indian Head residential development and Highway 56
  • Less direct access to existing Highway 56 development from Highway 1
  • Closure of existing Highway 1 and Highway 56 intersection
  • Highway 1 and Grid 619 (east Indian Head access) converted to right-in/right-out only
  • Highway 1 and Grid intersection to the west must be closed

Option 4 – Partial Cloverleaf West of Existing Location

A partial cloverleaf west of the existing intersection requires an overpass where Highway 56 crosses Highway 1. One of the loop ramps facilitates eastbound to northbound movement from Highway 1 to Highway 56, which is anticipated to be in high demand. Traffic lights will likely be required at the off-ramps leading to Highway 56.

Key Characteristics

  • More free-flow movements than Option 3
  • Prioritizes high volume eastbound to northbound movement
  • Facilitates access to future development
  • More space between the Highway 56 and Johnston Avenue intersection and the railway crossing
  • Separation between Indian Head residential development and Highway 56
  • Less direct access to existing Highway 56 development from Highway 1
  • Closure of existing Highway 1 and Highway 56 intersection
  • Highway 1 and Grid 619 (east Indian Head access) converted to right-in/right-out only
  • Highway 1 and Grid intersection to the west must be closed
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3. Next Steps

  • Evaluate Survey Feedback
  • Determine Preferred Option and Refine Design
  • Virtual Public Engagement #2
  • Final Report

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