Calgary considers federal cash for Airport Trail expansion
Plan calls for new interchanges, extending key road eastward
City council will be asked on Monday to seek federal funds to complete Airport Trail.
The federal government is now taking applications for a new fund for "national trade corridors."
The fund was announced in the 2016 federal budget.
It's designed to support the movement of goods and passengers by reducing transportation bottlenecks and dealing with capacity issues.
Coun. Jim Stevenson, who represents communities around the Calgary International Airport, said it's logical to tap this fund to improve transportation around YYC.
He plans to support Calgary getting in its application by the Sept. 5 deadline.
There's a proposal to add new interchanges on Airport Trail at both Barlow Trail and 19th Street N.E. to improve access to the airport and to extend Airport Trail eastwards from the airport tunnel to link up with Stoney Trail.
Better mobility around airport a city priority
Improving the traffic flow on Airport Trail would also help cargo and logistics firms that rely on the road for the movement of goods.
"The whole reason we built the tunnel was to be able to have east-west free movement of goods and passengers for the airport," said Stevenson.
According to the city, the Calgary Airport Authority has agreed to put $37.5 million in land and cash towards the improvements.
The balance of the project, which could cost approximately $95 million, would be split by the city and the federal government.
Stevenson, who has been lobbying governments for years on the project, said he's confident that securing the federal cash will allow the Airport Trail expansion to go ahead.
Stevenson hoping for quick decision
The project is currently unfunded by city hall but that would change with the infusion of federal dollars.
"I would hope that there would be a decision within weeks of whether we got the money or not," said Stevenson.
"If we get approval on the money, then we would be looking at starting early in '18 with the road work and as soon as the final design is ready for the overpass at 19th and at Barlow, then they would start."
City council will discuss the issue at its meeting which starts Monday morning.
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