CALGARY – The federal government announced “funding consideration” up to $582.9 million for the southwest Calgary ring road on Thursday.
Alberta’s provincial government pledged to complete construction on the southwest Calgary ring road within seven years on July 7. The land transfer between the province and the Tsuu T’ina Nation necessary for the project to move forward was finalized on May 22, after the federal government authorized changes to the boundaries of the nation. The government of Alberta and Tsuu T’ina Nation originally signed the land transfer agreement in Nov. 2013.
A release from the government said the project is meant to “ease congestion, reduce travel times and improve safety” on the highway, commonly known as the Stoney Trail. Construction will include 31 kilometres of highway, 46 bridges , 10 service-level interchanges, four multi-level major interchanges and replacing a bridge over a CP Rail line.
“The Southwest Calgary Ring Road is an important infrastructure project, enabling us to provide Albertans with a safe, modern highway network that will improve travel times in and around one of Canada’s most important cities and support economic growth in the province,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure and MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood in a statement.
The funding falls under the National Infrastructure Component of the New Building Canada Fund, and the city of Calgary’s transportation department confirmed the funding announced today was new money. The money is conditional on the project meeting eligibility requirements as well as the signing of a “contribution agreement.” The release said Alberta’s provincial government will pay for any remaining costs.
The government said the project will:
- Boost the local economy by generating over $800 million in labour income;
- Improve access for industrial producers and shippers to and from British Columbia;
- Reduce travel times, increase traffic flow for U.S. tourists;
- Provide new housing development space for Calgary.
The Progressive Conservative caucus released a statement championing the new funding, and saying constituents see it as a priority.
“My constituents are telling me getting the Calgary ring road completed is one of their priority projects,” said Dave Rodney, MLA for Calgary-Lougheed in the statement. “I’ve been working on this for over a decade, including motions in the Legislature and keeping the current Transportation Minister accountable this past spring. We want the government to ensure construction on the southwest portion begins in 2016 and ensure the west portion of the ring road is completed by 2020.”
Click here to learn more about the New Building Canada Fund projects