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Southwest Calgary Bus Rapid Transit nears end of the line

WATCH: Construction on 14th Street in southwest Calgary is still in high gear. As Silvana Benolich reports, the city says the project is one track and in the final stages.

Construction on the southwest Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is on track to be complete by late fall, the City of Calgary said on Wednesday.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel here,” said Brian Tang, senior transportation engineer with the city.

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“Over the next few weeks, you’ll see all the areas will be paved with asphalt. Once that happens, everything will start getting cleaned up and all the lane closures will start reducing and it’ll start looking a lot better.”

The southwest BRT project is one of four additions to the city’s primary transit network.

The project includes new BRT stations along the length of the route, and construction of new bus-only travel lanes on 14 Street W. between Southland Drive and 75 Avenue S.W.

Buses will run in mixed traffic along the rest of the route, except on portions of Glenmore Trail and Crowchild Trail, where buses will be able to use the shoulder lanes to bypass traffic during rush hour.

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The BRT project route will run from downtown Calgary to Woodbine, and provide direct connections to major destinations that are currently under-serviced by transit such as Southland Leisure Centre, Glenmore Landing, Heritage Park, Rockyview Hospital, Mount Royal University, Lincoln Park, Currie Barracks and Marda Loop.

The closure of the 14 Street exit has limited access to businesses in Glenmore Landing for months.

“Some of the businesses in the mall are suffering and I know that some of them — they moved. They shut down,” said Paravaneh Vejdani, owner of Gypsy Rose Florist in Glenmore Landing.

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“The traffic management has, I know, been a long haul for everyone out there, so we appreciate their patience with us,” Tang said.

The pedestrian bridge will open at the end of October and the underpass is almost complete, although some work on traffic islands, construction of a noise wall and landscaping will spill over into 2020, Tang said.

The BRT will come in on budget, according to the city, and riders will be able to use it before the end of the year.