Alberta Highway 11

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Highway 11 shieldAlberta Highway 11 David Thompson shield

Highway 11
David Thompson Highway
Route information
Length: 318 km (198 mi)
Major junctions
West end: Hwy 93 in Saskatchewan River Crossing
East end: Hwy 12 near Nevis
and rural
I.D. No. 9, Clearwater County, Lacombe County, Red Deer County, Stettler No. 6 County
Major cities: Red Deer
Towns: Rocky Mountain House, Sylvan Lake
Highway system

Provincial highways in Alberta

Hwy 10 Hwy 11A

Alberta Provincial Highway No. 11, commonly referred to as Highway 11 and officially named the David Thompson Highway, is a highway in central Alberta, Canada that connects Red Deer and Sylvan Lake to Highway 93 near Mount Sarbach. It runs from Saskatchewan River Crossing in Banff National Park east through Nordegg, Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer until it connects with Highway 12 near Nevis. The highway is named after David Thompson, a British-Canadian fur trader, surveyor, and map-maker who explored the area between Rocky Mountain House and Kootenae House (near present-day Invermere, British Columbia) through Howse Pass.

Route description[edit]

Highway 11 begins at the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) and travels east for 6 km (3.7 mi) through Banff National Park, where traffic is required to purchase a national parks pass.[1] The segment of Highway 11 within Banff National Park is maintained by the Government of Canada.[2]

Upon exiting Banff National Park, Highway 11 is maintained by Alberta Transportation and travels along the North Saskatchewan River, and travels through the sparsely populated Rocky Mountains Forest Reserve. The highway passes by west shore Abraham Lake and Nordegg. The highway continues east to the Town of Rocky Mountain House, where it shares a common alignment with Highway 22. The highway continues east, passing by Alhambra, Condor, Eckville, and Benalto before bypassing the Town of Sylvan Lake and enters the City of Red Deer. The highway is a four lane, divided highway between Highway 20 and Red Deer, and crosses a causeway and bridge over Cygnet Lake.[3]

Highway 11 intersects Highway 2 (Queen Elizabeth II Highway) and enters Red Deer along 67 Street and is maintained by the City of Red Deer. The highway intersects Gaetz Avenue (Highway 2A) north of Downtown Red Deer near Parkland Mall, and crosses the Red Deer River before turning south and becoming 30 Avenue. At 55 Street, Highway 11 turns east and leaves Red Deer. The length of Highway 11 within Red Deer is 10 km (6.2 mi).

Upon exiting Red Deer, Highway 11 is maintained by Alberta Transportation. The highway passes the Canyon Ski Area, crosses the Red Deer River and passes Joffre. East of Joffre, the highway follows the top of the Red Deer River valley and intersects Highway 21. Highway 11 ends at its intersection with Highway 12 near Nevis, 20 km (12 mi) west of the Town of Stettler.


Red Deer area[edit]

Highway 11 has seen increased traffic west of Red Deer, resulting in multiple studies by Alberta Transportation which would improve the highway. Plans call for the highway to be upgraded to a freeway standard in which all at-grade intersections would be removed between Highway 2 in Red Deer and the intersection Highway 20 at Sylvan Lake.[4] There is also a plan that calls for the permanent closure of the Highway 781 / 50 Street intersection, with Highway 781 being realigned to the Highway 20 intersection.[4][5] There is also a study on twinning Highway 11 between Sylvan Lake and Highway 766 north near Eckville.[6] Presently the improvements are unfunded.

The City of Red Deer is also constructing the North Highway Connector, also known as Northland Drive, which will serve as a northern bypass.[7][8] The connector begins at the Highway 2A / Highway 11A intersection, crosses the Red Deer River, and connects with Highway 11 in eastern Red Deer. Phase I is currently under construction connects with Highway 11 at 30 Avenue / 67 Street intersection, while a proposed Phase II would connect with 20 Avenue approximately 1.6 km (0.99 mi) further to the east.[9]

Alberta Transportation also has right of way to realign Highway 11 east of Red Deer, bypassing its present 55 Street alignment; documentation refers to this alignment as Highway 11X.[10]

Howse Pass[edit]

There have also been proposals to extend Highway 11 west of Highway 93 across Howse Pass and connect with British Columbia Highway 1 northwest of Golden, British Columbia, known as the Howse Pass Highway.[11] Proponents of the highway argue that it would provide an alternate route to British Columbia and would relieve congestion along the Trans-Canada Highway and the Yellowhead Highway. They also argue that it would reduce the distance between Central Alberta and Vancouver by 95 km (59 mi), reduce the distance travelled through Banff National Park, and open up Central Alberta to more economic opportunities.[12][13]

Opponents of the highway argue that it would cause significant environmental impact in an ecologically sensitive area, especially within Banff National Park which is a protected area.[14][15] They also argue that it would be cost prohibitive constructing the British Columbia section of the highway along the Blaeberry River, especially since the Trans-Canada Highway and the Yellowhead Highway are requiring significant upgrades, and it is a low priority in British Columbia.[16] Howse Pass is also designated as a National Historic Site which further protects the area from development and as a result it is unlikely that the highway will be constructed.

Major intersections[edit]

From west to east:[17]

Rural/specialized municipality Location km[18] mi Destinations Notes
I.D. No. 9
(Banff National Park)
Saskatchewan River Crossing 0 0.0 Hwy 93 (Icefields Parkway) – Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper Hwy 11 begins.
National park pass required on Hwy 11 within Banff National Park.
Clearwater County 6 3.7 East gate of Banff National Park Leaves Banff National Park
42 26 Crosses Cline River
Cline River 44 27 service road
70 43 Crosses Bighorn River
88 55 Hwy 734 (Forestry Trunk Road) – Waiparous, Cadomin, Hinton
Nordegg 90 56 Stewart Street Nordegg access road.
113 70 Saunders Alexo Road Access to the ghost towns of Alexo and Saunders.
144 89 Sunchild Road Access to Sunchild First Nation and O'Chiese First Nation.
169 105 Hwy 11A east – Rocky Mountain House
Hwy 756 north – Crimson Lake Provincial Park
173 107 Crosses North Saskatchewan River
Rocky Mountain House 174 108 Hwy 22 north (Cowboy Trail) – Alder Flats, Drayton Valley Hwy 22 concurrency begins
Enters Rocky Mountain House
178 111 52 Avenue
Hwy 11A west to Hwy 752 south
Hwy 598 east – Leslieville
Access to Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site.
179 111 42 Avenue Leaves Rocky Mountain House
186 116 Hwy 22 south – Caroline, Sundre, Cochrane Hwy 22 concurrency ends.
Alhambra 199 124 Range Road 54 Alhambra access road.
204 127 Hwy 761 – Leslieville, Stauffer North and south intersections are offset.
Hwy 761 concurrency for 300 m (1000 ft).
Condor 207 129 Range Road 45 Condor access road.
Lacombe County 219 136 Hwy 766 south Hwy 766 concurrency begins
220 140 Hwy 766 north – Eckville Hwy 766 concurrency ends
↑ / ↓ 173 107 Crosses Medicine River
Red Deer County Benalto 226 140 Urban Approach Road 164 south Benalto access road.
228 142 Township Road 390 east – Sylvan Lake
(Former Hwy 11A east)
Sylvan Lake 237 147 60 Street north Proposed interchange[4]
239 149 Hwy 781 south – Innisfail
50 Street north Westbound entrance and exit.
241 150 Hwy 20 north – Bentley, Rimbey
Future Hwy 781 south
Traffic signals
Proposed interchange
Proposed Hwy 781 realignment[4]
254 158 Burnt Lake Trail
(Former Hwy 596 south)
Traffic signals
City of Red Deer 255 158 Hwy 2 (Exit 401) – Calgary, Edmonton Interchange
Red Deer city limits, becomes 67 Street.
257 160 Taylor Drive
258 160 Hwy 2A (Gaetz Avenue) – Blackfalds, Lacombe, Innisfail
259 161 Crosses Red Deer River
261 162 30 Avenue
(Phase 1 connection to Northland Drive)[9]
Roundabout and connection to Hwy 11A under construction.
Hwy 11 turns south.
263 163 55 Street Hwy 11 branches east.
292 181 20 Avenue
(Phase 2 connection to Northland Drive)[9]
Proposed Red Deer North Highway Connector
Red Deer County 274 170 Hwy 808 south
↑ / ↓ 275 171 Crosses Red Deer River
Lacombe County 280 170 Hwy 815 north – Joffre, Ponoka
299 186 Future Hwy 921 south[10] Future concurrency with Hwy 921 begins.
305 190 Hwy 601 north – Alix
311 193 Future Hwy 921 north[10] Future concurrency with Hwy 921 ends.
↑ / ↓ 313 194 Hwy 21 – Bashaw, Camrose, Delburne, Three Hills
County of Stettler No. 6 Nevis 318 198 Hwy 12 – Lacombe, Stettler, Consort Hwy 11 ends.


  1. ^ Canada. "Banff National Park - Park Passes". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Parks Canada - Parks Canada Performance, Evaluation and Audit 2009 Plan". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d "Highway 11 Functional Planning Study - Executive Summary" (PDF). Government of Alberta. McElhanny Consulting Services Ltd. December 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Highway 20/781 Planning Study" (PDF). Government of Alberta. Dillon Consulting. May 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Central Provincial Highway Projects". Highway 11. Government of Alberta. July 22, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  7. ^ "North Highway Connector" (PDF). City of Red Deer. Retrieved 2016-04-26. 
  8. ^ "North Highway Connector". Parkland GEO. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c "North Highway Connector" (PDF). Stantec. 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c "2015 Provincial Highways 1 - 216 Series Progress Chart" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. March 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  11. ^ Kossowan, Brenda (July 11, 2012). "Wildrose MLA reopens Howse Pass debate". Red Deer Advocate. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  12. ^ Bekka, Khalid; Schollie, Bruce (October 12, 2005). "Economic Pre-Feasibility Study for a Howse Pass Highway". Clearwater County, Town of Rocky Mountain House, Lacombe County, Government of Alberta (PDF). Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Howse Pass video". Red Deer Advocate. January 15, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  14. ^ Kossowan, Brenda (July 12, 2012). "Proposal to drive highway through pass 'ridiculous'". Red Deer Advocate. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  15. ^ Douglas, Nigel (August 2012). "Howse Pass Highway: The Ridiculous National Park Highway Proposal that Refuses to Die" (PDF). Wilderness Watch. Vol. 20, No. 4. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  16. ^ Nome, Helge (June 27, 2012). "Howse Pass Highway? - Not likely". Alberta West News. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  17. ^ Alberta Road Atlas (2005 ed.). Oshawa, ON: MapArt Publishing Corp. pp. 62, 63, 64, 65, and 68.
  18. ^ Google (November 14, 2016). "Highway 11 in central Alberta" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved November 14, 2016. 

External links[edit]