Sherwood Park Freeway drivers to see faster speed limits

Drivers heading into Edmonton from Sherwood Park could soon be allowed to go a little bit faster.

Strathcona County says it has been told a provincial speed limit review has concluded a stretch of Sherwood Park Freeway that currently has a 70 km/h speed limit can safely be increased to 80 km/h.

“It’s about time,” Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank said. “Good decision and great to see.”

When the Anthony Henday opened in 2017, new on-ramps and off-ramps connected it to the Sherwood Park Freeway. The province determines speed limits for the road and decided 70 km/r was appropriate for the first few kilometres of the westbound road out of Sherwood Park.

Ever since then, drivers have been complaining.

Hailey Shandera drives that stretch of Sherwood Park Freeway every day.

“It doesn’t make sense to me and I find I almost always exceed the speed limit because it feels so odd to be driving so slow when it’s literally a freeway.”

Kirk Swanson feels the same way.

“Kind of misses the point of a freeway.”

Frank said he and other councillors have been listening to the complaints since 2017. He was happy when the province agreed to review the speed limits. He’s even more satisfied with the results.

“It’s been a pretty constant theme in the last year-and-a-half I’ve been in office. We’ve been working with Alberta Transportation and they’ve come through.”

Alberta Transportation says because of the provincial election, it would not conduct an interview but the province notes no changes have been made yet.

Frank said his conversations with the province suggest the speed limit will likely change within a couple of months.

He’s relieved and so are other drivers. However, the ones who use that road every day say 80 km/r will likely still feel strange on such a large, wide road.

“It still feels weird if it’s 80 ’cause it feels like it should be 100 right there. But that could just be me,” Shandera said.

Swanson said everyone ignores the posted limit anyway.

“You could do 90 on it and still get passed. So it’s just spending a bit more money on changing signs out.”

The speed limit review was ordered last September. Frank said he heard the results earlier this week.

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