If you're frustrated with Crowchild Trail traffic snarls, brace yourself for another year of pain

This week, the right-hand lane closure southbound at the Crowchild Trail bridge caused a traffic flare-up. But the short-term pain will make room for long-term gain, according to the city.

Short-term pain will make room for long-term gain, according to the city

The section of Crowchild Trail that runs over top of Bow Trail, the Bow River and Memorial Drive will be under construction for another year. (Google Maps)

This week, the right-hand lane closure southbound at the Crowchild Trail bridge caused a traffic flare-up. But the short-term pain will make room for long-term gain, according to the city.

There's still a year to go on the major improvements to the important roadway.

As the city says: it's a construction zone. And crews will continue to focus on getting the bridges over Memorial Drive, Bow River and Bow Trail some much-needed lifecycle maintenance.

Jeff Baird, a senior transportation engineer on the project, talked to the Calgary Eyeopener on Tuesday.

Baird said the new northbound to the eastbound Memorial ramp is almost ready to go, crews are painting lines on the freshly paved road.

"The plan is [to have it ready] by the end of this month," Baird said. "It is close."

Today's podcast: Calgary MLA kicked out of NDP caucus; teachers speak out against a province-wide math test; talking politics with a Republican and a Democrat living in Calgary; Crowchild Trail bridge update. 27:21

The popular roadway that carries motorists over the Bow River was built in the 1960s. Traffic volumes have increased greatly over the past 50 years, and the river crossing is no longer big enough.

So, most importantly, the project is adding an extra lane to northbound and southbound Crowchild Trail between Memorial Drive and Bow Trail.

In total, there are 12 different improvements to Crowchild and surrounding roads, as well as nearby pathways. Baird says there are upward of 100 people on site working away on the project.

(Courtesy/ City of Calgary)

On- and off-ramps will be relocated, there's a new pathway and the riverbank outfalls are being repaired after the 2013 floods.

The massive project means the city wants motorists to slow down through construction sites, especially with the impending winter conditions.

Baird said that so far, the project is on time and on budget. The city aims to tie up the project by the end of 2019.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.