The 620-metre Airport Trail tunnel under the new runway at the Calgary International Airport opened to traffic on May 25.
The new tunnel extends Airport Trail from Barlow Trail to 36 Street N.E. as a six-lane roadway, and also included widening Airport Trail between Deerfoot Trail and Barlow Trail from four to six lanes.
The City celebrated the completion of the Airport Trail tunnel with a public opening event on May 24 to recognize the hard work, commitment and cooperation of many people who delivered this piece of vital infrastructure.
Thousands of Calgarians attended the opening which featured an official program, a special Show and Shine event, displays from Calgary Police Service, Calgary Fire Department, EMS and Calgary Transit, live music, entertainers and food trucks.
Airport Trail Tunnel Celebrates Opening
Left: Mayor Naheed Nenshi officially opened the Airport Trail Tunnel
Right: Thousands of Calgarians attended the Opening to check out the tunnel and the Show & Shine
The Airport Trail tunnel has already received awards for its construction, including an award from the Alberta Construction magazine for being the top project in 2013 in the Civil category (over $50 million). The tunnel was also one of three City of Calgary projects to receive 2013 Award of Excellence honours from the 2013 American Concrete Institute (Alberta Chapter).
Tunnel interesting facts
- The tunnel is 620 metres long and 36 metres wide
- Vehicle clearance in the tunnel is 5.3 metres.
- During tunnel construction over 600,000 cubic metres of earth and rock was excavated.
- Over 2.5 kilometres of water and storm water utilities have been installed along with approximately 45 kilometres of electrical conduit.
- 12,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel was installed, equivalent to about thirty 747 airplanes.
- Concrete work on the structure itself began with the installation of footings followed by forming and casting of the tunnel walls and roof. A total of 50 concrete sections were poured. Each tunnel section required 850 cubic metres of concrete which was delivered by about 80 trucks over a 12-hour period.
- The first concrete pour for the tunnel walls and roof took place on February 24, 2012, and the last pour was completed on October 30, 2012.
- A total of 58,000 cubic metres of concrete was poured during the construction of the tunnel.
- Thirty-two 100-horsepower exhaust jet fans, weighing 2,000 pounds each, and 1,380 lighting fixtures were installed onto the ceiling of the tunnel.
- Various traffic control devices, lane control and life safety systems have been installed in the tunnel.
The Airport Trail tunnel project includes:
- Tunnel excavation - Tunnel excavation involved the removal of more than 600,000 cubic metres of rock and earth material.
- Underground Utilities under the Tunnel Structure - Installation of underground utilities such as water for firefighting purposes and storm drainage pipes to manage storm water.
- Tunnel Structure - Concrete work on the structure itself began with the installation of the footings followed by forming and pouring of the tunnel walls and roof. Completed fall 2012.
- Life Safety Systems - Installation of communication/surveillance system, fire detection system, emergency egress accommodations, ventilation system, electrical system (including emergency/back-up), and traffic control system will progress as the overall tunnel project is completed.
- Roadworks (Airport Trail/Deerfoot Trail to 36 Street N.E.) - Existing Airport Trail between Deerfoot Trail and Barlow Trail has been upgraded from four to six lanes. Airport Trail between Barlow Trail and 36 Street is constructed to six lanes.
- February 2011 – City Council approved construction of the Airport Trail tunnel
- July 2011 – excavation began
- February 2012 – concrete pour of the first of 50 tunnel walls and roof sections
- August 31, 2012 – hand over to Calgary Airport Authority (CAA) the area above the tunnel under the future runway
- October 2012 – completion of tunnel concrete work and hand over to CAA the area above the tunnel under the taxiways
- 2013 – majority of roadwork construction
- June 30, 2013 – hand over to CAA the area above the tunnel under east perimeter service road
- July 31, 2013 – hand over to CAA the area above the tunnel under west perimeter service road
- May 24, 2014 – Airport Trail Tunnel Opening event
- May 25, 2014 – tunnel open to traffic
Transportation Infrastructure is committed to keeping citizens informed about this project. For inquiries that include a maintenance concern, safety concern, project status or design inquiry, a general inquiry, a compliment, complaint or opinion, please see the Airport Trail Tunnel - Maintenance webpage.