Province launches construction of Calgary west ring road project

Click to play video: 'Province greenlights west Calgary ring road' Province greenlights west Calgary ring road
WATCH: There is light at the end of the tunnel. The province announced Thursday it is greenlighting the highly-anticipated west Calgary ring road. Here’s Christa Dao with the details – Jul 5, 2018

The final leg of the Calgary ring road project will start construction in 2019.

Premier Rachel Notley made the announcement alongside Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Transportation Minister Brian Mason and other provincial and city politicians at a press conference Thursday.

“This will mean better, smoother, more efficient traffic flow across Calgary and across the entire region,” Notley said. “It will mean better traffic safety as it will reduce congestion on Calgary roads.”

The final section of the project, known as the west Calgary ring road, is a nine-kilometre divided highway that will run south from Highway 1 to the west of 69 Street S.W.  and connect to Glenmore Trail, according to the project’s website.

This section is expected to accommodate approximately 80,000 vehicles per day and will create up to 2,600 direct construction jobs, a provincial news release said Thursday.

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Mason said the project will add to the region’s competitiveness.

“It will improve trade, it will improve the competitiveness of the Calgary region and the province as a whole,” he said.

The 21-kilometre southwest section began construction in 2017. It will run from Highway 8 to MacLeod Trail S.E. and includes reconstruction of Glenmore Trail from Sarcee Trail to the east of 37 Street. It will be completed in the fall of 2021, the website said.

“A complete ring road means a much more efficient road system,” said Nenshi. “The worst possible way to spend time is to be stuck in traffic…that’s time that is stolen from your work, your family, from your life.”

Planning for the ring road began in the 1970s. When completed, the road will be 101 kilometres in length.

Premier Rachel Notley announces the construction of the final leg of the Calgary ring road on July 5, 2018. Loren Andreae/Global Calgary

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