Plans for the future of the south end of Shaganappi Trail were unveiled in Calgary on Saturday.
Two years of community input and technical review went into the study and recommendations have now been finalized.
The city’s final short and long-term recommended plans for the study area include designs to increase safety and promote active transportation in the area.
“The reason for doing this study is to create a new vision for the area,” said Madhuri Seera, senior transportation engineer with the City of Calgary Transportation Planning.
The long-term plan includes a diamond interchange that would replace the loop ramps near Shaganappi Trail and 16 Avenue.
“It was important for the community to address some of the safety concerns that are in the area and also create a vision. If you see the infrastructure right now there are a lot of loop ramps and a lot of community cut through concerns were brought up,” Seera said.
Montgomery residents at the meeting said they hoped the interchange would reduce the number of people taking Bowness Road through their neighbourhood.
“Bowness Road will just be a little more local and hopefully we won’t see the cut through traffic that we are seeing now,” said Janice Mackett with the Montgomery Community Association.
The interchange is a 30 year unfunded project with a price tag of around $100 million.
A short-term plan is also proposed that would help fix the crash-prone merge on to 16 Avenue from Bowness Road. It includes an extra lane and a traffic signal as well as more pathway space.
“We have a crash history at this location which is the main reason for us to come up with a short term plan,” Seera said.
Area residents agree that improvements need to be made.
“You’ve got no run up lane. You have no merge lane”, said Montgomery resident Rob Pyle who attended the open house on Saturday.
“There’s people coming this way and wanting to get onto 16th Ave. It’s extremely dangerous to get on to there.”
The proposals will be presented to a city committee in July. If funding is approved, the short-term plan could be constructed in five years.
Back in 1970, Shaganappi Trail was classified as an expressway.
A study completed at the time recommended a major interchange at the junction of 16 Avenue, Bowness Road, Memorial Drive, and Shaganappi Trail.
The report also recommended Shaganappi Trail go right over the Bow River and through Edworthy Park to connect commuters to Sarcee Trail.
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