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5 Street SW Underpass Enhancement project


Project Overview

The 5 Street S.W. underpass is a popular connection for pedestrians and cyclists. Built in the 1970s, it serves as a main gateway and key corridor for north-south movement between the communities of Beltline and Downtown Calgary. Currently the underpass’ cycle track averages over 1,185 riders each day with as many as 2,500 riders during peak days. More than 6,500 pedestrians pass under the rail tracks each day.

The underpass is located on 5 Street S.W. between 10 and 9 Avenues S.W., between the communities of Beltline and Downtown Calgary. The site is unique due to its historical context of the site pre-settlement, the significance of the railway, adjacent land-uses, transportation, and local character.

The goal of this project is to provide a safe, well-lit underpass to improve the overall user experience while promoting increased pedestrian and cyclist movement between the Beltline and Downtown communities. Creative use of inexpensive, durable materials that are easily maintained, readily available, with proven performance in our climate can help improve this experience. We will explore integrated public art, strategic lighting concepts to help provide year-round visual interest, day and night, as well as explore sustainable design solutions

This enhancement project is part of the broader Centre City Underpass Enhancement Program, which aims to improve the pedestrian environment and connections between the Beltline and downtown communities, including cleaning up and brightening existing underpasses.

Public Engagement

Public engagement played a large role in the development of a design for this project. We wanted to understand how Calgarians currently use the 5 Street S.W. underpass – the good and the bad aspects of it, as well as opportunities for improvement.

Please view our project engagement page to see what design options were engaged on and what we heard during our public engagement periods.

Project Timeline

  • June 2018 – Online and onsite public engagement - round one
  • February 2019 - Online and onsite public engagement - round two
  • Spring 2019 – Presentation of preferred design
  • Spring-Fall 2020 – Project construction


For more information about the 5 Street S.W. Underpass Enhancement project or other Centre City projects, please call 311.​​​​​​