August 12, 2010 6:24 pm

Construction of 4th Street underpass officially underway

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The official groundbreaking for the gateway to the East Village took place on Thursday.

The $70-million 4th Street underpass project is intended to ease bottlenecked traffic to and from the Stampede grounds and take pressure off MacLeod Trail into the city’s core.

Connecting 9th and 11th Avenue, there will be two lanes of traffic in each direction and four lanes for cyclists. The sidewalks are also up to three times larger than normal to accommodate foot traffic on the Stampede grounds.

Chris Ollenberger with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, says it’s a key component to the east side makeover.

“It’s where Cantos is planning on building its national music centre, it’s where we are planning the diagonal that leads straight through the East Village and leads to the bridge that heads to St. Patricks Island and on to the Zoo. The connectivity options for many people in the beltline throughout East Village and the east end of downtown just improved dramatically.”

The underpass is expected to take at least two years to build, but should be open to some traffic by next year.

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