Downtown Calgary underpass to get $2.1M makeover

City council voted Wednesday to earmark $2.1 million to revitalize an underpass on First Street S.W. in Calgary.

Project will revitalize 'dingy' area

The underpass between Ninth and 10th avenues will get a $2.1 million facelift. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

A city council committee unanimously supported plans to spend $2.1 million to fix up the First Street S.W. underpass.

The project will revitalize the walkways along the underpass between Ninth and 10th avenues, which dates back to 1908, in the hope of better connecting the downtown and Beltline areas.

Ald. John Mar says people tend to avoid the underpass now for several reasons.

"There's a water issue, firstly," he said Wednesday. "Secondly, it's very dark, very dingy. It's perceived to be an unsafe area."

The city tapped a number of private sector partners to raise funds for the project. Roughly $500,000 will come from these partners, which include the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway head office and the Palliser Hotel.

Work will start in May and is expected to finish later this autumn.

Mar says the next downtown underpass to be fixed up will be the one under the tracks at Eighth Street southwest.