News / Edmonton

Edmonton road construction? There’s an app for that

Summer in Edmonton means road construction, which means motorists may need to find alternative routes.

Guess what? There’s an app for that.

Software engineer Niels Hansen created the Edmonton Road Construction app and launched it on the iTunes app store June 5.

Through the City of Edmonton Open Data Catalogue, Hansen obtained project locations, start dates and even supervisor contact information for the app, which uses GPS technology to determine construction in any given area.

Hansen recently moved to Edmonton from southern California.

“I thought this would be a good way to learn the city and also find out where all the different road construction is for myself,” he said. “And then I thought ‘Wow, this could be used for a lot of people.’”

Even city staff have downloaded the app and find it useful, said Barry Belcourt, the city’s branch manager of roads design and construction.

The city does what they can to communicate about construction, such as releasing a map, but the app is another tool in the toolbox, he added.

“Everybody says there are two seasons in Edmonton – winter and construction … So it’s very important for people to understand these are the things that could be in their way.”

By the numbers

  • The app has been downloaded hundreds of times – and has even been one of the top 100 referenced apps in Canada multiple times.
  • There are a total of 46 construction projects slated for 2012, which are listed here.

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