17 Street and Baseline Road Jughandle

Al-Terra was retained by Strathcona County to complete functional planning for 17 Street, particularly at the Baseline Road intersection, where capacity and operational concerns had been identified and were resulting in congestion and safety issues, particularly during peak hours. The original thought was to implement double left turn lanes on Baseline Road; however, analysis indicated that even with double left lanes, congestion would reoccur within the 10-year horizon. Development constraints in all quadrants of the intersection, except southeast, coupled with other technical constraints, precluded interchange or grade separation of this location.

A jughandle concept, which allowed removal of left turn movements at Baseline Road and 17 Street, was developed, using the available right-of-way in the southeast quadrant. Intersection analysis and traffic simulation (Synchro and Sim Traffic) indicated that the jughandle could accommodate the projected long-term volumes at a high level of service. Al-Terra was retained to complete design and construction engineering for implementation of the jughandle, including two new traffic signals and modification of existing signal. 

Since opening to traffic, the jughandle has exceeded expectations with respect to reducing queues and congestion. Removal of left turn movements is also expected to reduce collisions.