Southwest BRT construction hinges on gas line questions, says Calgary councillor

A city councillor says the southwest transitway cannot go ahead until ATCO reveals what it wants to do with a high-pressure gas line.

ATCO runs a high-pressure gas line next to 14th Street S.W.

Before a southwest transitway is built, the city needs answers to questions about the ATCO gas line near 14th Street S.W., Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart says. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

A city councillor says the southwest transitway cannot go ahead until ATCO reveals what it wants to do with a high-pressure gas line.

The city wants to widen 14th Street to include two bus-only lanes, but that would mean building new traffic lanes on top of the gas line for a couple of kilometres.

ATCO intends to replace the gas line with a new one that will go in next to the southwest ring road.

Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart says safety is paramount, and construction can't start on 14th Street until the gas line issue is sorted out.

"There's no way in hell's half acre that we're going to rip up 14th Street twice in order to replace those lines — which they have the jurisdiction to do and the authority over us to do — and then have us ripping up the road to put in a rapid transit system," said Colley-Urquhart, whose Ward 13 will include part of the southwest BRT. 

"That to me, today, is the most important issue that we need to deal with and get answers to."

Ready to Engage has launched a significant campaign against the Southwest BRT project. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

The southwest BRT has been a contentious issue in Calgary. The project, which is expected to cost more than $40 million, includes dedicated bus lanes to be built along 14th Street S.W. between Glenmore Trail and Southland Drive, with the goal of improving transit service to downtown and key destinations such as Mount Royal University, Rockyview Hospital, Glenmore Landing, Heritage Park and Lincoln Park.

The project has sparked significant public opposition, with public advocacy group Ready to Engage slamming the city for a lack of engagement on the project. Last month, Mayor Naheed Nenshi cancelled further public meetings about the BRT after they became too rowdy. 

Ready to Engage members say if all questions about safety, ridership, cost can be answered, they'll support the southwest BRT.

Construction on the transitway is set to begin in 2017. 

The service includes two new dedicated bus-only lanes on 14th Street S.W. between Southland Drive and Glenmore Trail. The city says the lanes will allow buses to bypass traffic and provide a "reliable and efficient service at all times of the day." (City of Calgary)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?