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New Glenmore Trail bridge takes traffic over train tracks at Ogden Road

Click to play video: 'Glenmore Trail and Ogden Road S.E. Interchange project opens' Glenmore Trail and Ogden Road S.E. Interchange project opens
WATCH: Motorists can begin using the new Glenmore Trail and Ogden Road S.E. interchange on Wednesday. Doug Vaessen has details – Jul 19, 2017

A new multimillion-dollar interchange project at Glenmore Trail and Ogden Road S.E. will be open to Calgary traffic starting Wednesday morning after two years of construction. The interchange creates an intersection-free corridor along Glenmore Trail from Sarcee Trail in the southwest to Barlow Trail in the southeast.

“These are long-term, multi-year projects,” said Mac Logan, general manager of transportation for the City of Calgary. “We did the preliminary work on this road in 2005. We then put it into our infrastructure plan in 2010, got it over the funding hurdle, and started construction in 2015.”

The interchange solves a long-standing problem for traffic flowing to and from the industrial area in Ogden. Train tracks, operated by Canadian Pacific, had the potential to stop traffic on the busy road, leaving truckers and commuters alike stuck for long periods of time.

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“I’ve spent many days behind that train,” said Gene Orlick, past chair of the Alberta Motor and Transport Association.

“Goods movement is essential to our success as a city and this is an important link,” said Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra. “I’m so happy it’s been built.”

“You’ve got three lanes to work with,” Orlick said. “The cars are fast and are going to go around the trucks all the time, so this makes it quite a bit more safe. I know our guys will enjoy operating on this road every day.”

In addition to getting traffic up and over the train tracks, the bridge will serve as an LRT crossing point for the new Green Line project. There are also improved sidewalks at grade level and a continuous pathway connecting 18 Street to 52 Street S.E. and to the regional pathway in the area.

READ MORE : Glenmore Trail construction set to slow southeast Calgary commute

The improvements are part of a long-term vision for Glenmore Trail, which will see it act as a major skeletal road connecting traffic from east to west.

“Our plan for Glenmore Trail is to be free-flow from ring road to ring road,” said Logan. “That means we have 52 Street, Barlow Trail and 68 Street East to complete. They’re in our programs; they’re not funded. I would suspect it’ll be at least another decade before we’ll see the next interchange.”

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While the bridge opens Wednesday, some construction is still ongoing in the area. As a result, speeds will continue to be reduced to 50 kilometres per hour until the entire project is completed in the fall.

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