Second Access to Sunset Ridge

The community of Sunset Ridge has nearly 3,800 homes and 9,000 residents. As the community continues to grow, the entrance at Sunset Blvd will see an increase in traffic volume. Melcor has been working with the Town of Cochrane, Rocky View County and Alberta Transportation since 2011 to plan a second access into the community to help alleviate traffic congestion as the community continues to grow. This second access, referred to as the ultimate access, requires some development to be done in Rocky View County and agreements and approvals between both Municipalities. As this land falls under Rocky View ownership, an interim solution has been proposed by Melcor.

Stage 3 Neighborhood Plan and Public Open House RESCHEDULED Fall 2018

At two previous open houses for the plan we presented information about a proposed second access to Sunset Ridge from the north which would help to alleviate existing traffic issues in the community. Initially we proposed an interim access solution because the ultimate access solution wasn’t an option at the time. However, at the open houses we heard strong feedback from you that the ultimate access was the preferred solution. Since that time the Town of Cochrane has worked jointly with Melcor, the landowner to the north, and Rocky View County to make the ultimate access solution possible, including annexation of the required lands just north of Sunset Ridge. Cochrane and Rocky View County have agreed in principle on the annexation and the Town is now moving forward with public engagement on the annexation. Meanwhile, we have postponed rescheduling the cancelled open house until the access and annexation discussions are complete.

We plan to reschedule the open house in FALL 2018 once the annexation agreements are in place. Exact dates have not been set but we will make sure to keep you updated and notify you in advance of the open house.

What we heard: 2017 Open Houses

Melcor held two open houses in June and November 2017 to gather input from Sunset Ridge and View Ridge residents regarding the proposed secondary access. We have summarized the feedback we received in a What We Heard report. The report also includes how we are responding to some of the feedback and what the next steps are for the secondary access. Information presented at the open houses may be found in the questions and answers below.

Why build an interim access rather than the ultimate second access?

The ultimate second access is dependent on road improvements through a neighbouring parcel in Rocky View County, north of the Town boundary. Melcor does not own this neighbouring parcel and is not able to guarantee the timing of construction. There are also some complexities in having the access within the Rocky View County municipal boundary related to potential annexation and servicing.

What will the interim second access look like?

In order to accommodate the interim second access, an oversize collector road to handle required traffic flows will be built from Sunset Ridge to Highway 22X. The existing access from View Ridge Place will be rerouted to the south allowing for the two roadways to align at a new intersection. The intersection will allow for turns in any direction, and include the addition of acceleration and deceleration lanes at the new intersection allowing vehicles to merge safely onto the highway. All roadway improvements will be fully paved.

Who is paying for the interim second access?

The costs to construct the interim second access will be fully funded by Melcor Developments. There will be no public tax payer dollars allocated to this project.

When will the interim second access open?

Melcor needs to obtain approvals from the Town of Cochrane and Rocky View County in 2018 in order to open the road by 2020. This is Melcor’s target date based on current development and buildout of the community, as well as market conditions.

What are the benefits of having an interim second access?

Realigning the public access from View Ridge Place to the south so that it directly aligns with the new interim second access, meets the access spacing requirements dictated by Alberta Transportation. The speed limit on Hwy 22 will also be reduced to 80km/h from 100 km/h to reflect urban driving conditions. This will reduce potential conflicts between the two existing roads accessing the highway. A second access is required in and out of a community in the event of an emergency and closure at Sunset Blvd. As well, the second access will ease congestion at Sunset Blvd. for traffic entering and leaving the community on HWY 22X.

What will happen to the interim access when the ultimate access is built?

When the area north of Sunset Ridge is developed in the long-term, Township Road 263 will provide the new access to Highway 22, as per the Cochrane North Area Structure Plan, and the Sunset Ridge interim second access will be closed.

What happens if the ultimate access is not approved and built?

If the ultimate access does not get approved and built, the collector road that will be built as part of the interim secondary access will be able to handle the capacity of a fully built-out Sunset Ridge community, as it is being built to a permanent collector standard. The ultimate access is not necessary to accommodate existing growth with the town boundary.

How has the community been engaged in this process?

In the fall of 2016, options for a secondary access and a package was submitted at the end of that year to Alberta Transportation.Melcor met with Rockyview County Administration and the Town of Cochrane early in 2017, to introduce interim access proposition in advance of a formal application to the Town of Cochrane. Melcor invited the communities of Sunset Ridge and View Ridge to an open house in June 2017 to discuss the secondary access to the community and held a second open house in November 2017 to gather additional input from residents.The next steps are to continue engagement with affected stakeholders and formalize the access design through Sunset Ridge Stage 3 Neighbourhood Plan and Land Use Approvals.Melcor plans to host an open house for Sunset Ridge Stage 3 Neighbourhood Plan in early 2018, with the detailed design and engineering approvals in 2018/2019. If the approvals are received at that time, the construction of the interim north access would begin 2020, subject to market conditions.

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