Hundreds turn out for party to open Airport Tunnel
After three years of construction, Calgarians are getting their first peek at the new airport tunnel.
The multi-million dollar project opens to traffic on Sunday, but the public is being invited to check out all six lanes a day early, and on foot.
On Saturday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., the city is hosting a special event to show off the award-winning design.
The east-west corridor was approved by council in 2011; Ward 3 Councillor Jim Stevenson had been trying to get the project going three years before that.
The six-lane, 620-metre long road runs beneath the Calgary airport’s new runway and three taxiways. It was completed on time and on budget. The city was required to meet critical completion dates needed by the Airport Authority to continue its runway expansion program without delay.
It connects Barlow Trail and 36 Street NE using Airport Trail, something that will help commuters in the northeast travelling west. There are also plans to have it connect with Stoney Trail.
“We’re expecting opening day, 15,000 Calgarians will be using this link,” said Mac Logan, the General Manager of the city’s transportation department. Logan said he’s looking forward to the long-term benefits.
“When we are able to extend to the east and connect with Stoney Trail that number will probably double or triple.”
In order to construct the $294-million tunnel, more than 600-thousand cubic metres of earth and rock was excavated, a total of 58-thousand cubic metres of concrete was poured and 12-thousand tons of reinforcing steel was used, equivalent to about thirty 747 airplanes.
The six-lane Airport Trail tunnel under the new runway at the Calgary International Airport will officially open to traffic at 5:00 am on Sunday, May 25th.