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Crowchild Trail construction will widen bridge over Bow River

Short term pain for long term gain as Crowchild construction set to begin
WATCH: Calgary commuters are being asked to pack their patience as construction to improve congestion on Crowchild Trail is about to begin. Gary Bobrovitz reports.

The City of Calgary is starting work on a series of major upgrades to Crowchild Trail, including the widening of the bridge over the Bow River.

READ MORE: City of Calgary releases design concepts for Crowchild Trail redevelopment

Currently, the three-lane road decreases to just two lanes in each direction as drivers pass over the bridge, creating a bottleneck during rush-hour commutes. Once construction is complete, traffic will be more free-flowing with three lanes of traffic in both directions over the Bow River.

The City of Calgary anticipates the $87-million project will be complete in late 2019. Detours and temporary lane closures are expected during construction.

“For the safety of crews and people travelling in the area, we’re slowing down people through the street, but we’re keeping all the traffic lanes open during weekdays and focusing on more of the road impact work through the night,” project manager Jeff Baird said in a statement released Tuesday, adding, “our team is working to ensure the noisier work is minimized through the night.”

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READ MORE: Crowchild Trail improvement project approved by Calgary council

In addition to the widening of the bridge, entrance ramps from Bow Trail and 10 Avenue S.W. to northbound Crowchild Trail will be moved to the right-hand side of Crowchild Trail. The City of Calgary says the changes will reduce the weaving that currently exists on the bridge and improve travel times for commuters.

Another component of the upgrades includes the addition of a northbound lane of traffic along Crowchild Trail from Memorial Driver to 5 Avenue N.W.

Also included in construction plans are “a couple” new pathways and a pedestrian crossing to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to connect to the Bow River pathway system. The city said Tuesday the Crowchild Trail pedestrian bridge will be closed from Nov. 6 to spring 2018 while work is underway.