CALGARY – The 4th Street underpass opened with much fanfare Tuesday morning.
Flames fans will now be able to travel to the Saddledome in style – and a lost faster than before.
“Tonight, 20,000 people, annually 1.8-million, nearly two million people come and go from our facility here,” says Flames President Ken King. “This is like having your left ventricle opened. Incredible achievement, great achievement on behalf of the city and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.”
The 4th Street underpass is called the key that unlocks the entire downtown east side, connecting 9th Avenue to the Stampede grounds and providing an important gateway to the developing East Village.
The underpass is expected to cut down travel time to the Saddledome by as much as 30 to 40 per cent.
Dignitaries arrived by Stampede trolley for the opening event. They say the state of the art blue print will be duplicated in other projects across downtown.
“You look at it from multiple stakeholders, don’t just look at it from cars. People are going to walk on it, ride a bike on it and cars underpass for a lot of different forms of transportation and I think this is one of the cool things about this project,” says Michael Brown, President and CEO of the CMLC.
CMLC and the developers of the East Village put up $42-million for the project. City Transportation paid the remaining $28-million.
More than two years in the making, the underpass is designed to be better lit and more pedestrian friendly than other roadways beneath downtown’s Canadian Pacific Railway tracks.