An access is a location on a provincial highway where vehicles:

  • enter
  • leave
  • cross

Examples include a private driveway or public road.

Alberta Transportation manages where highway accesses are located and their design.

Safety considerations

Safety is the primary reason for limiting access to a highway. Any new access creates potential conflict points between vehicles travelling at highway speeds and slower moving vehicles that may be entering, leaving or crossing a highway.

Even when there are no vehicles using an access, road entrances, crossings and exits can create dangerous obstacles for vehicles. In Alberta, 6% to 10% of collisions and fatalities on rural provincial highways are as a result of striking accesses.

Alberta Transportation reviews applications for both:

  • new accesses
  • improvements to existing accesses, or consolidating and removing accesses


Alberta Transportation has general guidelines to identify where accesses should be located, based on the highway’s classification and its traffic volume.

Highway classification Traffic volume Access
Freeways – major economic corridors, including core routes in the National Highway System Typically more than 10,000 vehicles per day Limited to interchange locations
Multi-lane divided highways Typically more than 10,000 vehicles per day Generally limited to intersections with arterial and collector roads
Major 2-lane highways – arterial highways Typically more than 1,000 vehicles per day Generally located at intersections with collector roads
Minor 2-lane highways – collector highways Typically less than 1,000 vehicles per day Should be limited to one access per quarter section

Freeway locations

Freeway locations are legislated and include:

  • Highway 1
  • Highway 2 (between Fort MacLeod and Edmonton, and between Jct. Hwy 49 and Jct. Hwy 35)
  • Highway 3
  • Highway 4
  • Highway 11 (between Jct. Hwy 2 and Jct. Hwy 766)
  • Highway 16
  • Highway 28 (between Jct. Hwy 28A and Jct. Hwy 63)
  • Highway 28A (between Anthony Henday Drive and Jct. Hwy 28)
  • Highway 35
  • Highway 43
  • Highway 49 (between Valley View and Jct. Hwy 2)
  • Highway 63
  • Edmonton ring road (Highway 216)
  • Calgary ring road (Highway 201)

Access reviews

Alberta Transportation reviews a highway’s access management for:

  • safety – when a safety concern is identified
  • subdivision of land – when government receives notification of a subdivision application from a municipality
  • new development – when government receives an application from a landowner, municipality, or developer for a new development that will generate additional traffic
  • highway improvements – as part of the planning process for current and future highway improvements

Immediate and short-term access

Many proposed developments require immediate and short-term access, even though future highway improvements could be years away.

There could be many alternatives and options to prepare a highway for future development while also addressing immediate access concerns.

Alberta Transportation manages every development application request individually and will work to resolve local concerns when possible. Contact your district office for more information.

Access permit applications

Landowners and developers should contact their local municipality about proposed developments.

A permit from Alberta Transportation is required for roadside developments within the development control zone, which is:

  • 300m from a provincial right-of-way
  • 800m of the centerline of a highway and public road intersection

A permit is also needed to install or change a sign within the development control zone.

To find out what permits your project will need:

When you apply

When you apply for a permit, you will be asked to provide detailed information about your proposed project plan. This information is reviewed by an engineer or development technologist at Alberta Transportation.

Contact the appropriate Alberta Transportation District Office for more information.


For more information about access management on Alberta highways:

Athabasca District Office

Phone: 780-675-2624

Main Floor, Jewell Building
3603 53 Street
Athabasca, Alberta  T9S 1A9
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Calgary District Office

Phone: 403-297-6311

2nd Floor, Willowglen Business Park
803 Manning Road NE
Calgary, Alberta  T2E 7M8
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Edson District Office

Phone: 780-723-8250

2nd Floor, Provincial Building
111 54 Street
Edson, Alberta  T7E 1T2
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Fort McMurray District Office

Phone: 780-743-7376

6th Floor, West Tower
9915 Franklin Avenue
Fort McMurray, Alberta  T9H 2K4
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Grande Prairie District Office

Phone: 780-538-5310

1st Floor, Provincial Building
10320 99 Street
Grande Prairie, Alberta  T8V 6J4
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Hanna District Office

Phone: 403-854-5550

2nd Floor, Provincial Building
401 Centre Street
Hanna, Alberta  T0J 1P0
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Lethbridge District Office

Phone: 403-381-5426

3rd Floor, Administration Building
909 3 Avenue North
Lethbridge, Alberta  T1H 0H5
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Peace River District Office

Phone: 780-624-6280

3rd Floor, Provincial Building
Bag 900, Box 29
9621 96 Avenue
Peace River, Alberta  T8S 1T4
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Red Deer District Office

Phone: 403-340-5166

4th Floor, Provincial Building
4920 51 Street
Red Deer, Alberta  T4N 6K8
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Stony Plain District Office

Phone: 780-963-5711

4711 44 Avenue
Stony Plain, Alberta  T7Z 1N4
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions

Vermilion District Office

Phone: 780-853-8178

2nd Floor, Provincial Building
PO Box 28
4701 52 Street
Vermilion, Alberta  T9X 1J9
Email: [email protected]
Open in Google Maps for directions