Long list of road construction projects in Calgary could spell long waits in traffic
Drivers' patience will start to pay off later in 2019, promises director of transportation infrastructure
Workers are about to get started on a long list of major road work and other infrastructure projects that are sure to have a big impact on Calgarians trying to get around the city in the coming months.
More than 20 projects are set to resume or begin this spring, including the road work on 14th Street S.W. for the bus rapid transit (BRT) network, as well as road widening on Anderson Road and Glenmore Trail to accommodate increased traffic on and off the new southwest ring road.
"There are a lot of projects in southwest, no question, because of those connections to the ring road as well as the BRT and a few improvements there," said Kerensa Fromherz, the city's director of transportation infrastructure.
"We are co-ordinating those projects together very carefully. We have weekly meetings with our project managers on all those projects. We are planning ahead in terms of the communication for closures and impacts the travelling public may experience."
On the bright side, the city says two years of work to improve the bottleneck on Crowchild Trail where it crosses the Bow River should start to bear some fruit as ramps and traffic lanes begin to open through the summer and fall.
And the ambitious, disruptive work to modernize the underground utility work along 17th Avenue S.W. and refurbish the streetscape will finish this year, said Fromherz.
This year will also see work begin on three new interchange projects — two of which are related to building out Airport Trail as a major east-west connection between the ring road and Deerfoot Trail.
Crews will also start work to replace the 110-year-old Ninth Avenue S.E. bridge over the Elbow River, and adding new pathway connections to the river pathway and bikeway network.
Green Line "enabling works" have also begun, which will make room for constructing the 20-kilometre first phase of the new LRT route.
Along with the major projects, the city roads department is set to begin more than 80 paving projects this season.
Fromherz says the work that will be happening on transportation infrastructure this year accounts for a long-term investment of $400 million and 3,100 jobs.