Photo of highways 1A and 22 in Cochrane
Highways 1A and 22 in Cochrane.

Overview

Cochrane is expected to grow significantly, making an interchange the best option to accommodate travel in this area well into the future.

The intersection at Highway 1A and Highway 22 sees an average of more than 29,000 vehicles a day. These numbers are also expected to increase significantly over the coming years.

Separate from this work, the Town of Cochrane has begun widening a section of Highway 1A through the town. Town construction is expected to be completed in fall of 2023. Learn more about Cochrane’s Traffic Plan.

Project details

Major construction on this project began in May 2023 and will take about 3 years to complete. The project includes:

  • Expanding Highway 1A from two to four lanes (2 lanes in each direction) from just west of Highway 22 to 6th Avenue (east of Big Hill Creek).
  • Two new bridges on Highway 1A over Big Hill Creek (existing bridge will be removed)
  • Replacing the Highway 22 CP Rail overpass over Highway 1A with a new larger overpass structure
  • New interchange ramps and roundabouts connecting highways 1A and 22 as part of the interchange.
  • The project limits extended eastward on Highway 1A so that it ties into Town of Cochrane’s Highway 1A Improvement project.
  • The project limits expanded northward on Highway 22 just beyond the Sunset Blvd intersection.

Interchange project plan and design

  • Interchange design

    The interchange will be based on a partial cloverleaf design to make best use of the area’s geography, while also accommodating future upgrades. This approach will help ensure the interchange can effectively accommodate:

    • population changes in the area
    • traffic growth
    • transportation corridor use

    The partial cloverleaf design will meet growing traffic volumes now and, in the future, and provide more efficient traffic flows in the Town of Cochrane and the surrounding area, while minimizing the footprint of the interchange and cost of overpass structures.

    Several considerations were addressed in determining the configuration of this interchange:

    • accommodating proximity of the highways to the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks
    • limiting impacts upon adjacent lands (Cochrane Ranche, the Cochrane and District Agricultural Society site, and historical and environmental considerations)
    • limiting impacts to Big Hill Creek
    • accommodating existing and future major oil and gas pipelines
    • accommodating existing and projected future traffic volumes
    • minimizing land acquisition, noise and visual impacts to adjacent homes and businesses
  • Environmental impact

    An Environmental Evaluation has been completed for the project reviewing existing conditions, potential impacts and mitigation measures for all key Valued Ecosystem Components (that is, soils, vegetation, wildlife, fisheries, noise, historical and cultural resources and First Nations consultation).

    All required environmental permits and approvals will be in place before construction starts.

  • Pedestrian and cycling access

    In consultation with the Town of Cochrane, Highway 1A is being designed to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists with multi-use pathways. Current details related to pathways are shown on the interchange plan.

  • Land and agreements

    Land has been secured to build the interchange.

    A new crossing agreement is being drafted with CP Rail related to the construction, operation and maintenance of the new interchange bridge over the CP tracks.

    Coordination is occurring with affected utilities/pipelines (Town of Cochrane, Fortis, Telus, Shaw, Axia, ATCO Gas, Caledonian Midstream, Pembina and TC Energy).

Timelines

  • Fall 2021 – Construction of bulk earthworks
  • December 2022 – Major construction tender issued to industry
  • March 2023 – Interchange contract awarded to EllisDon Construction Services
  • May 2023 to Fall 2025 – Major construction underway
  • Fall 2025 – Interchange opens to traffic

Anticipated traffic impacts

  • Late June 2023 – Access to Range Road 43 at Highway 22 closes permanently.
  • July to August 2023 – Access to Ranche Road and Ranchehouse Road at Highway 22 closed permanently on Monday, July 17, 2023.
  • Summer 2023 – Fall 2024 – Temporary relocation of pedestrian access below Highway 1A along Bighill Creek to accommodate bridge construction.
  • August 2023 – Temporary roundabout and Highway 1A west detour opens and will remain in use until 2025.
  • Additional Highway 1A detours will come into effect throughout the project.
  • Collapse all Temporary roundabout and Highway 1A detour

    A temporary roundabout is being constructed along Highway 22 which will become the main intersection for the detour along Highway 1A during construction of the interchange.

    The temporary roundabout has been designed to allow traffic flows that are comparable to the existing traffic signal, however, traffic congestion is still expected at times. The first leg of the detour will be completed in August, and the second leg in Fall 2023. The detour will remain in effect until 2025.

    • Stage 1: Highway 1A and 22 Road Closures and Detours (August 2023)
    • Stage 2: Highway 1A and 22 Road Closures and Detours (Fall 2023)

    For more information, contact the project team:

    Email: [email protected]

    Image of the Cochrane interchange
    Image of a map of the Cochrane interchange
  • Permanent closure of Ranche Road access from Highway 22

    Highway 1A and 22 Interchange project, the right-in and right-out access to Ranche Road from Highway 22 was permanently closed on Monday, July 17, 2023.

    Permanent closure of the Ranche Road access is needed because it will overlap with the exit and entrance ramps of the new interchange. The timing of the closure will allow the interchange contractor to safely proceed with the required earthworks and drainage construction work in the area, which will include a major haul route and highway crossing in this area.

    Alternate routes

    Travellers, workers and residents currently using Ranche Road can use Sunset Blvd and Sunset Drive to continue accessing the Cochrane RancheHouse through Sunset Ridge.

    For more information, contact the project team:

Benefits

This project will support economic development in Alberta by improving access to this area, allowing efficient movement of goods and people, in particular larger truck traffic, through Cochrane to access Highway 1 to the south and the Highway 22 corridor to the north. The new interchange will also:

  • expand the capacity of both highways
  • enhance safety
  • accommodate future growth

Contact

For more information on the Cochrane interchange, contact the Southern Region Office:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 403-381-5426
Toll free: dial 310-0000 before the number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

Address:
Southern Region Office
3rd Floor, Administration Building
909 3 Avenue North
Lethbridge, Alberta  T1H 0H5
Open in Google Maps for directions

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