The Southwest Calgary Ring Road (SWCRR) has recently been put out to tender to three construction groups. It is expected that the bids will be received in the third quarter of 2016 and that construction should start soon after that.
In the October 27 Provincial Budget, there was $2.963 billion allocated to ring road projects in both Calgary and Edmonton over the next 5 years. There was no guidance provided for when the West Calgary Ring Road (WCRR) would be announced. I have discussed this issue with the Transportation Minister and tend to agree with the general speculation that a WCRR announcement might reasonably be expected after the bids are received on the SWCRR project and a better understanding of current construction costs is available.
There is an absolute requirement to complete the SWCRR within a fixed 7 year deadline and I know that Alberta Transportation wants to have the SWCRR project well in hand before starting the WCRR.
The scope of the SWCRR has recently been extended to the Lott Creek intersection on Highway 8. This has heightened concerns from residents west of 69th Street about the close proximity of the SWCRR to their properties. I am fighting this issue together with community representatives and have a scheduled meeting with the Transportation Minister in early December.
Another key challenge will be the timing of the completion of the entire ring road project. If the SWCRR is completed before the WCRR, there will be a period during which eastbound and northbound SWCRR traffic will need to be absorbed by Glenmore Trail SW and Sarcee Trail SW. This will require significant upgrades to Sarcee Trail.
In April of 2014, I presented a Notice of Motion to Council seeking enhanced support from the Provincial Government for downstream impacts on our communities. These impacts would include traffic, sound attenuation and lighting concerns. For the past two years I have been successfully lobbying Alberta Transportation for an enhanced sound berm for our communities. My last discussion with the Transportation Minister on these challenges was in September, and I will be fighting these challenges in my next meeting in the coming weeks.
On November 18, 2015, at the Transportation and Transit Committee, Administration will present the budget for expected costs for downstream impacts of the SWCRR and necessary traffic upgrades for Sarcee Trail should the WCRR project be delayed. I will report the findings of this report to you then.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.