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Trans-Canada Highway-Bowfort Road interchange in Calgary nears completion

Aurelio Perri, Newstalk770

Construction has been underway for two years, but the end is in sight for the Trans-Canada Highway and Bowfort Road interchange.

Prior to the construction of the interchange, 60,000 vehicles a day passed through the intersection at Trans Canada and Bowfort Road in the northwest. Congestion was always a problem, with traffic lights restricting the flow of traffic.

READ MORE: City of Calgary unveils Blackfoot-inspired art at major northwest interchange

The city said Thursday that it faced some challenges in building the new road while maintaining traffic flow.

“What we did was we kind of scrunched all the traffic onto a detour to the north so our working area was very contained,” said Peter Rudolf,  project manager for the City of Calgary, “that and then the sort of sequenced opening of eastbound Trans-Canada and the bridge, and then westbound, so obviously traffic has been a bit of a challenge.”

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When fully opened, the new interchange will have six lanes – three in each direction– moving freely on the Trans-Canada, underneath a bridge that connects to Bowfort Road.

The interchange will have dual turning lanes into Canada Olympic Park and other area businesses, so that even with traffic lights, it can accommodate a higher volume of traffic.

Rudolf said completion of the project is still three weeks away.

“They finished all the paving on the Trans-Canada; we have to do line marking, there’s a bit of work to do on the north side of the bridge and then the signals need to be reoriented a bit, and then the barricades removed,” he said.

He said the project is on time and  has a price tag that is lower than the original $71.7 million that was budgeted.

“When we tendered two years ago, it was an optimal time to tender the project. Prices came in lower than estimated. It was actually a really good time to build this project.”