You can expect traffic delays in Alberta during the papal visit. Here's what you need to know

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Pope Francis will be in Canada from July 24 to July 29 and is expected to make an apology for the harm caused to Indigenous people by the Catholic Church. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP - image credit)
Pope Francis will be in Canada from July 24 to July 29 and is expected to make an apology for the harm caused to Indigenous people by the Catholic Church. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP - image credit)

Access to Alberta highways will be restricted during Pope Francis's tour of the province next week and drivers can expect delays as the papal motorcade hits the road.

Rolling closures are scheduled for highways across the province between July 24 and July 27 as the pontiff travels through Edmonton, Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne.

Sections of the Queen Elizabeth II, 2A, 16, 43, 611 and 633 highways will close during his various tour stops.

Motorists can expect delays and are being encouraged to consider alternate routes, the province said in a traffic advisory.

Within Edmonton, multiple road closures are also expected.

Mass at Commonwealth Stadium

The city is asking people to use transit to Commonwealth Stadium for the open-air mass on Tuesday, as there is no parking.

Tickets to the mass can be used as transit fare for regular bus or LRT and Park and Ride service from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Park and Ride service will start at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will run about once every five minutes from the following locations:

  • Calder city lot.

  • Davies city lot.

  • Eaux Claires lot.

  • Lewis Farms.

  • Mill Woods Town Centre.

There will also be a downtown route. These buses will stop at:

  • All eastbound bus stops between 107th Street and 97th Street on Jasper Avenue.

  • All northbound stops between Jasper Avenue and 107th Avenue on 97th Street.

Other ETS bus routes — 2, 3 and 101 — and the Capital Line LRT also run near Commonwealth Stadium. You can plan your trip using edmonton.ca/Transit.

Other road closures in Edmonton

Here are the expected road closures within the city during the papal visit:

Saturday at 8 a.m. to Tuesday at 10 p.m.:

  • 96th Street, from 108th Avenue to 108A Avenue, including the east sidewalk.

  • 108A Avenue, from 96th Street east to the first alleyway.

  • Alleyways east of 96th Street and south of 108A Avenue to 108th Avenue.

CBC Graphics
CBC Graphics

Monday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.:

  • 96th Street, from 107A Avenue to 109th Avenue.

  • 108th Avenue, from 95th Street to 97th Street.

  • 108A Avenue, from 95th Street to 97th Street.

  • 109th Avenue, from 95th Street to 97th Street.

  • No on-street parking will be permitted during this time. Local residents may exit the area, however vehicle re-entry will only be permitted after the roads reopen at 6:30 p.m.

CBC Graphics
CBC Graphics

Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

  • Stadium Road, from 92nd Street to 112th Avenue.

  • Muttart crossing, from Stadium Road to 106A Avenue.

  • 107A Avenue eastbound lanes, from 92nd Street to 95th Street.

  • Expect travel delays along 112th Avenue and 111th Avenue, from 82nd Street to 97th Street.

  • Expect travel delays along 95th Street and 97th Street, from 103A Avenue to 118th Avenue.

CBC Graphics
CBC Graphics

Highway closures

Here are the anticipated highway closures, according to information from the province.

Sunday

  • Pope Francis will arrive in the morning. The QEII Highway northbound between the Edmonton International Airport and Edmonton will be closed until the motorcade passes by.

Monday

  • The QEII Highway southbound and Highway 611 west of Highway 2A will be closed between Edmonton and Maskwacis when the Pope travels from Edmonton to Maskwacis in the morning.

  • The QEII Highway and Highway 611 west of Highway 2A will be closed between Maskwacis and Edmonton when the Pope returns to Edmonton later in the afternoon.

  • Travellers can expect closures, significant delays and limited access along portions of Highway 2A, northbound and southbound, between Wetaskiwin, Maskwacis and Ponoka all day.

  • Travellers can also expect closures, significant delays and limited access along portions of Highway 611, eastbound and westbound, all day.

Tuesday

  • Highway 16 westbound, Highway 43 northbound and Highway 633 westbound will be closed when the Pope travels to Lac Ste. Anne late in the afternoon Tuesday.

  • Highway 633 eastbound to Highway 43 southbound and Highway 16 eastbound to Edmonton will be closed when the Pope returns to Edmonton.

  • Closures and restricted access to Highways 16 and 633 can be expected on all range roads and township roads west of Highway 43 and east of Highway 765, south of Lac Ste. Anne.

  • Highway 633 between Highways 757 and 43 will be closed except for buses and local traffic.

Wednesday

  • The Pope will depart Edmonton in the morning. The QEII Highway southbound between Edmonton and the Edmonton International Airport will be closed.

Information on the papal travel schedule will be posted on 511 Alberta. Highway closure information will also be posted on electronic message boards along Alberta highways.

Pope Francis is in Alberta as part of a week-long trip to Canada to advance reconciliation between the Roman Catholic Church and Indigenous people who suffered from years of abuse in the residential school system.

He will also make stops in Quebec City and Iqaluit.

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