|David Thompson Highway|
|Maintained by Alberta Ministry of Transportation|
|Length||318.2 km (197.7 mi)|
|West end||Hwy 93 in Saskatchewan River Crossing|
|East end||Hwy 12 near Nevis|
|Specialized and rural municipalities||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|
Alberta Provincial Highway No. 11, commonly referred to as Highway 11 and officially named the David Thompson Highway, is a provincial highway in central Alberta, Canada. It runs for 318 km (198 mi) from Highway 93 at Saskatchewan River Crossing near Mount Sarbach in Banff National Park east to Highway 12 near Nevis. It passes by Nordegg and through Rocky Mountain House, Sylvan Lake and Red Deer along its course. 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.
The majority of Highway 11 is maintained by Alberta Transportation. The segment within Banff National Park is maintained by the Government of Canada, and within Red Deer limits the city has jurisdiction and is responsible for maintenance. It 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.
Beyond Banff National Park, the highway parallels the North Saskatchewan River and traverses the sparsely populated Rocky Mountains Forest Reserve. It passes by west shore of Abraham Lake and Nordegg. The highway continues east to Rocky Mountain House, where it is concurrent with Highway 22. Continuing east, the highway passes Alhambra, Condor, Eckville, and Benalto before bypassing Sylvan Lake and entering 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.
Highway 11 meets Highway 2 (Queen Elizabeth II Highway) at an interchange, entering Red Deer as 67 Street. It 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 exits Red Deer, for a total length of 10 km (6.2 mi) within the city.
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 Stettler.
Traffic levels on Highway 11 have gradually increased west of Red Deer, resulting in multiple studies by Alberta Transportation for long-term planning of upgrades to the route. The studies 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 at Highway 20 in Sylvan Lake. 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. There is also a study on twinning Highway 11 between Sylvan Lake and Highway 766 north near Eckville. Presently the improvements are unfunded.
Red Deer is also constructing the North Highway Connector, also known as Northland Drive, which will serve as a northern bypass. The connector begins at the Highway 2A/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.
Alberta Transportation also has right of way to realign Highway 11 east of Red Deer, bypassing its present 55 Street alignment; documentation temporarily refers to this alignment as Highway 11X.
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'. 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.
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. 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. 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.
From west to east:
|I.D. No. 9|
(Banff National Park)
|Saskatchewan River Crossing||0.0||0.0||Hwy 93 (Icefields Parkway) – Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff||Hwy 11 western terminus|
National park pass required on Hwy 11 within Banff National Park.
|||4.4||2.7||East gate of Banff National Park|
|Clearwater County||||41.9||26.0||Crosses the Cline River|
|87.7||54.5||Hwy 734 (Forestry Trunk Road) – Waiparous, Edson, Hinton|
|Nordegg||89.9||55.9||Stewart Street||Nordegg access road|
|||144.0||89.5||Sunchild Road||Access to Sunchild First Nation and O'Chiese First Nation|
|168.7||104.8|| Hwy 11A east – Rocky Mountain House|
Hwy 756 north – Crimson Lake Provincial Park
|172.5||107.2||Crosses the North Saskatchewan River|
|Rocky Mountain House||174.2||108.2||Hwy 22 north (Cowboy Trail) – Drayton Valley||West end of Hwy 22 concurrency|
|177.7||110.4||Hwy 11A west / Hwy 598 east (52 Avenue) – Leslieville||Access to Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site|
|181.1||112.5||To Hwy 752 south (Township Road 392)|
|||186.1||115.6||Hwy 22 south (Cowboy Trail) – Caroline, Sundre||East end of Hwy 22 concurrency|
|198.7||123.5||Range Road 54 – Alhambra|
|Hwy 761 – Leslieville, Stauffer||North and south intersections are offset;|
Hwy 761 concurrency for 300 m (980 ft)
|206.8||128.5||Range Road 45 – Condor|
|Lacombe County||||218.4||135.7||Hwy 766 south||West end of Hwy 766 concurrency|
|219.9||136.6||Hwy 766 north – Eckville||East end of Hwy 766 concurrency|
|↑ / ↓||||221.0||137.3||Crosses the Medicine River|
|Red Deer County||||225.7||140.2||UAR 164 south – Benalto|
|227.5||141.4||Township Road 390||Former Hwy 11A east|
|Sylvan Lake||237.2||147.4||60 Street||Proposed interchange|
|238.8||148.4||Hwy 781 south – Innisfail|
|50 Street||Westbound right-in/right-out|
|240.4||149.4||Hwy 20 north – Bentley, Rimbey||Proposed interchange and Hwy 781 realignment|
|||254.2||158.0||Burnt Lake Trail||Former Hwy 596|
|City of Red Deer||255.0||158.4||Hwy 2 – Edmonton, Calgary||Interchange (exit 401 on Hwy 2); becomes 67 Street|
|258.2||160.4||Gaetz Avenue (Hwy 2A) – Lacombe, Penhold|
|259.3||161.1||Riverside Drive||Grade separated|
|259.4||161.2||Crosses the Red Deer River|
|261.5||162.5||30 Avenue||Roundabout; connection to Hwy 11A under construction|
Hwy 11 branches south
|263.0||163.4||55 Street / 30 Avenue||Hwy 11 branches east|
|Red Deer County||||274.3||170.4||Hwy 808 south|
|↑ / ↓||||275.2||171.0||Crosses the Red Deer River|
|Lacombe County||||280.1||174.0||Hwy 815 north – Joffre|
|299.4||186.0||Range Road 235||Hwy 921 south (unsigned)|
|304.7||189.3||Hwy 601 north – Alix|
|311.0||193.2||Range Road 223||Hwy 921 north (unsigned)|
|↑ / ↓||||313.3||194.7||Hwy 21 – Bashaw, Camrose, Three Hills|
|County of Stettler No. 6||||318.2||197.7||Hwy 12 – Lacombe, Stettler||Hwy 11 eastern terminus|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|