The province says it will go ahead with the southwest leg of Calgary’s ring road despite the misgivings of some city council members.
Four councillors are questioning the wisdom of the province spending $5 billion to complete the ring road, arguing the city has more pressing transportation priorities.
The $5 billion cost estimation includes building the road, consultations for the project, the land agreement with Tsuu T'ina Nation, interchanges connecting Calgary and maintaining the road for 30 years.
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The councillors — Druh Farrell, Gian-Carlo Carra, Brian Pincott and Evan Woolley — are also unhappy the city will need to spend $133 million to build connections to the freeway, which will run along the west side of Calgary.
The southwest portion of the ring road will stretch from Highway 22x to Highway 8 along the city's western edge and through land that now belongs to the Tsuu T’ina Nation, and then continue north along the 101st Street corridor to the Trans-Canada Highway.
The ring road holdouts say a north-southeast LRT line from Harvest Hills through the core out to Seton would be a better use of the money.
But design work on the final leg of Calgary’s ring road is already well underway, said Nancy Beasley Hosker with Alberta Transportation.
The province is doing its job in providing safe travel corridors and ensuring market access for all Albertans, she added.
Several city councillors fully support the ring road project, in part because they believe it will take pressure off congested corridors such as Sarcee Trail and 14th Street southwest.