From A to B

From A to B

Friday, January 22, 2010

Yvonne Jeffery

Navigating your way around Alberta just got easier: September 2009 saw the groundbreaking of two ring-road interchanges on Anthony Henday Drive in southwest Edmonton, which has alleviated traffic congestion there. Meanwhile, the new Peace River roundabout is easing congestion where Highway 744, 96 Avenue, and 100 Street Converge.

More improvements will be made in the coming years: In a joint venture, the governments of Alberta and Canada have committed to investing nearly $42.4 million in improvements to key infrastructure, benefiting communities across the province.

Hitting the asphalt isn’t the only way to see the breathtaking beauty of this province. Read on to learn more about the many ways to get where you need to go in Alberta.

Getting Behind the Wheel
After arriving in the province, you have 90 days to exchange your existing driver’s licence for an Alberta licence. If moving from within Canada, you can usually exchange your current licence for one that includes the same class of vehicle(s) in Alberta.

If you’re moving from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or the United States, you can also exchange your valid licence for an Alberta licence, although you may be restricted to certain types of vehicles. From anywhere else, you’ll need to complete testing here to earn your Alberta licence. that testing incorporates a graduated licensing program, meaning that as new drivers gain experience on Alberta’s roads, driving restrictions that are imposed at first are gradually lifted.

To obtain your licence in all cases, you must provide proof that you are lawfully entitled to be in Canada, and that you are a resident of Alberta.

For information on licensing and vehicle registration, visit servicealberta.ca or call 1-877-427-4088. Keep in mind that you’ll need automobile insurance coverage in order to register a vehicle. Alberta does not have government auto insurance; it’s offered instead by private insurance companies.

Finding Your Way
When you’re at the wheel, it’s easy to find your way around the province. the major cities and countryside have been laid out on a grid system, much like a checkerboard. In the country, the grids measure one mile by one mile. In the cities, many of the streets are numbered, which – once you get used to it – makes direction finding much easier.

Alberta’s major highways include the following:
• Highway 1 – runs approximately east-west as part of the cross-country transcanada highway route.
• Queen Elizabeth II Highway (formerly Highway 2) – runs north-south,providing a key link between Edmonton and Calgary (a three-hour trip) – and linking north to the Alaska Dempster Highway and south to Montana.
• Highway 4 – runs north-south in southern Alberta, connecting Coutts to Lethbridge.
• Highway 16 – runs east-west between Lloydminster and Jasper as part of the Yellowhead Highway Route.
• Highway 43 – connects Edmonton northwest to Grande Prairie.
• Highway 63 – runs northeast between Edmonton and Fort McMurray. to check on road and traffic conditions, call 1-877-AMA-HWYS(1-877-262-4997) or visit ama.ab.ca for AMA Road Reports®.

On the Buses
Greyhound Canada provides bus servicethroughout Alberta, Canada and into the United States. Red Arrow Motorcoach also connects major Alberta centres.
• Greyhound Canada: 1-800-661-8747; greyhound.ca
• Red Arrow: 1-800-232-1958; redarrow.ca

All Aboard
VIa rail travels between Toronto and Vancouver with a transcontinental passenger service called The Canadian, with Alberta stops that include Edmonton and Jasper. From Jasper, the train known as the Skeena heads to Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
• VIA Rail:
1-888-VIA-RAIL(842-7245); viarail.ca

Flying High
Alberta has a number of airports serving key communities, but the two major facilities handling both national and international flights are located in Calgary and Edmonton.
• Calgary Airport Authority:
403-735-1372/1-877-254-7427;
calgaryairport.com
• Edmonton International Airport:
1-800-268-7134; flyeia.com

Come Sail Away
Alberta transportation operates seven ferries as part of the province’s network of highways. For more information, call 780-415-1030 or visit transportation. alberta.ca/1965.htm.
• Bleriot Ferry – Highway 838 over Red Deer River
• Crowfoot Ferry – local road over Bow River, five kilometres south of the junction of Highways 1 and 56, on Range Road 201
• Finnegan Ferry – Highway 862 over Red Deer River
• Klondyke Ferry – Highway 661 over Athabasca River
• Lacrete Ferry – Highway 697 over Peace River
• Rosevear Ferry – local road over Mcleod River near Highway 16
• Shaftesbury Ferry – Highway 740 over Peace River .  MTA

 
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