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Deerfoot Trail Study

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The City of Calgary and Alberta Transportation are working together to study Deerfoot Trail and recommend safety and mobility improvements. The study will consider a wide range of possible freeway management strategies, including some new to Calgary. The overall emphasis will be on maximizing the existing infrastructure, accommodating future growth and aligning with relevant long range planning documents, including the Calgary Transportation Plan.

Study overview

Where is the study area?

We are studying Deerfoot Trail between the Stoney Trail interchanges in the north and south. The study area is 37.5 km long, and includes 20 interchanges. Approximately 44 communities border the study area. Please note the Stoney Trail interchanges are included only as the limits of the study. The study recommendations are not anticipated to include significant changes to these interchanges.

Why is this study needed?

Deerfoot Trail is Calgary’s oldest freeway, and the busiest in Alberta. The majority of Deerfoot Trail was built between 1971 and 1982. The city’s population has doubled since 1981 and the aging infrastructure is no longer meeting current traffic demand, resulting in traffic congestion, unreliability and safety concerns.

When will the study recommendations be available?

Short-term study recommendations are expected in early 2017 and long-term recommendations will be available by the end of 2018. There are several reasons the long-term study recommendations will take two years:

  • Significant length and complexity of the study area.
  • Necessary to review of existing and future conditions, best practices research on urban freeway management from around the world, and a thorough review of all possible strategies to improve the road.
  • Emerging details about other major capital projects, such as the Calgary Transit Green Line and Southwest Calgary Ring Road, will change the traffic demands on Deerfoot Trail.
  • The solutions need to be acceptable to both The City of Calgary (local road network) and Alberta Transportation (provincial road network).
  • The study needs to be completed from a “big picture” perspective; recommendations will need to work for the whole corridor and not just localized improvements.

Facts about Deerfoot Trail

  • Deerfoot Trail is part of the National Highway Network and managed by Alberta Transportation.
  • In Calgary, Deerfoot Trail is part of the Primary Goods Movement Network, and is classified as a skeletal road in the Calgary Transportation Plan. Skeletal roads are often high-speed roads aimed at moving cars and trucks for long distances.
  • The average daily traffic ranges from 83,000 vehicles per day at the south end to 170,000 vehicles per day north of Memorial Drive.

Public engagement

The engagement for this phase of the study is now complete. Thanks to everyone that provided feedback online or in person in June. We will incorporate the feedback from What we Heard to inform our short and long term study recommendations, where possible. An information session will be held in early 2017 to communicate the short-term improvement recommendations. The details will be posted online when they are confirmed.