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Updated: 22nd January 2020 15:55 Calgary

Memorial Drive lane reversal goes into effect Tuesday

Regular Memorial Drive users are being asked to drive with care as a new lane reversal system is ready to go into effect.

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An additional 400 cars an hour will be able to make their way into downtown.

An artist rendering of the new lane reversal system on Memorial Drive at Edmonton Trail (The City of Calgary)

Drivers are being asked to pay extra attention along Memorial Drive as a new lane reversal system will go into effect Tuesday evening.

The new system will now create dual turn lanes allowing drivers to make left-hand turns from the westbound lanes into the downtown core at Edmonton Trail. 

Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday the lane reversal system will  go into effect and allow dual eastbound left turns at Edmonton Trail. 

Pat Grisak with the City of Calgary said drivers need to be aware.

"We are asking motorists to exercise caution while driving through the area, obey all traffic control devices, and watch for gates that will open and close the dual turn lanes by time of day," Grisak said.

According to the city's website, gates will open and close on either side of the lane reversal to provide the dual turn in one direction and close off the reversible lane in the other direction. The city expects an additional 400 cars an hour will be able to travel into the downtown area.

The city said lane reversal was first used along Memorial Drive in 2016 but has not been used for some time due to ongoing work on the Reconciliation Bridge. Before that system was in place, crews used to physically put up temporary traffic control devices during peak traffic times.

Grisak said the city will help guide drivers through the transition to the permanent system.

"To make the transition easier and safer for drivers, we will continue to place traffic cones to augment the lane controls and signals until the end of this month," Grisak said. "But starting October 1, the system will be fully automated with no temporary traffic control."

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