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Beltline Downtown Utility Relocation work enters final year

Phase 1 of the Green Line LRT Project is a $5.5B expansion of Calgary’s current LRT network, adding 18 kilometres of track and 13 stations from Shepard Station at 130 Ave S.E. to Eau Claire at the north end of downtown. The Green Line will run underground in the Downtown and Beltline areas, with four underground stations.

Prior to tunneling and building the stations, we must remove potential utility conflicts, which involves moving the existing underground pipes and cables to other locations. By doing this work now, it makes the tunneling process quicker and reduces risk to the project.

The Beltline Downtown Utility Relocation work began in the spring of 2022 and has now entered its final year. By the end of 2024, all required utility relocation will be complete and ready for main construction to begin on the line and the stations in the Beltline, Downtown, and Eau Claire/Chinatown.

Map of utility relocation project and impacted areas in Downtown, Beltline West and Beltline East.
The utility relocation project is broken out into three sections: Downtown, Beltline West and Beltline East.

The utilities being relocated as part of this program include deep City watermain, sanitary and stormwater lines, and shallow utilities like third-party telecom, electricity, and gas infrastructure.

To date, all deep utility relocation work in Beltline East is substantially complete, with the remaining works anticipated to be complete in the next two months. All major shallow utility work in Beltline East has also been completed, except for ENMAX transmission line work, which is ongoing and will be complete at the end of this year.

Excavator lifting and moving a pipe into place as a construction worker watches in Beltline East on 12 Avenue S.E.
Utility relocation in Beltline East on 12 Avenue S.E.

Most of the work in the Beltline West area was completed in December, with some remaining transmission line cable pulling scheduled to be complete in early 2024. Substantial utility relocation work Downtown was wrapped up as well, with final service connections and other remaining work to continue into 2024.

In total, there was over 60,000 metres of pipes upgraded in 2023 as part of the utility relocation work — that’s over 600 Canadian Football League fields!

Though disruptive by nature, this critical work is also a significant investment in the community to accommodate future development, including the ability to add much-needed housing options in the area. The Culture + Entertainment District, part of the City’s Rivers District Master Plan, has many exciting developments in progress and on the horizon, including the BMO Centre Expansion, the 17 Avenue Extension and Stampede Crossing, the SAM Centre, the Event Centre, the 6 Street Underpass, and more.

Throughout 2023, there were several closures of roads, pathways, and sidewalks, plus bus stop relocations and cycle track detours to accommodate the flow of all modes of transportation in the Downtown and Beltline areas. As a result, businesses have also been affected, with access to stores and parking restricted at different times.

Our Community Relations and Business Support team has worked closely with every affected business and has built relationships with people working and living in the area. By working to understand how these businesses operate and creating the opportunity to connect on a personal level, Green Line is building a culture of collaboration. This ensures work continues in a way that facilitates the needs of local businesses while still carrying out the required relocation of utilities.

Stay tuned for further updates on the utility relocation project and many other exciting initiatives kicking off in 2024.