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West Calgary Ring Road Update

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Ward 6 official website
As a reminder, the previous Provincial Government under Premier Prentice divided the Southwest Calgary Ring Road (SWCRR) project into two parts.  A second part named the West Calgary Ring Road (WCRR) is the shortest leg, extending from Highway 8 at 101 Street SW then northerly to the intersection at Stoney Trail and the TransCanada Highway.  To date the current government under Premier Notley has not yet announced a start date for the WCRR.  At the October 3, 2016 Council meeting, I asked about the required WCRR construction timeline, as quoted below:
“Construction of the Southwest Ring Road has started. Further, we have been anticipating and studying downstream impacts of the Southwest Ring Road project on communities in the area since 2014. We need to know when the West Ring Road will be announced so as to avoid any failure of our transportation grid in the Southwest quadrant in five years when the Southwest Ring Road is completed. Is there an estimated announcement date for when construction of the West Ring Road must start so as to avoid serious safety and transportation network challenges?”
The City General Manager of Transportation, Mac Logan confirmed that there are capacity issues on Sarcee Trail and administration has forecasted that it will get worse once the SWCRR opens unless the WCRR is built. Currently the Provincial Capital Budget does not show a line item funding for the WCRR, however the Minister of Transportation, Brian Mason, has stated the West leg is in their five year capital plan. General Manager Logan noted that WCRR construction would need to commence in Q1 2019 in order to be open with the SWCRR in 2021 to avoid increased volumes on Sarcee Trail SW. The Province indicated that the earliest we may hear about funding would be in the Spring 2017 budget, but that is unlikely given that Minister Mason has publically stated construction will not begin until after the SWCRR is complete.
I have been continuously promoting the seriousness of this issue to Minister Mason and his Deputy Ministers in meetings since 2013. I am working with City administration to summarize the significant traffic and safety issues as well as financial implications if the timing of SWCRR and WCRR are not synchronized.
If the WCRR is in the five year capital budget, and will begin construction after the SWCRR is complete, there is still a minimum three years at which time SWCRR volumes will deliver significant traffic volumes onto an already at-capacity Sarcee Trail. The time is now to start planning and coordinating timelines to avoid this gap. The Deputy Minister has agreed to meet with me again before the end of the year, and I will persistently advocate for a formal announcement of the WCRR.  An announcement will at the least provide us a timeline to start planning from so we can prepare for some of the downstream impacts of the SWCRR opening.

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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.

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