City of Calgary unveils detailed plans for Deerfoot Trail upgrades

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WATCH: A three-year-long study highlighted seven key areas along Calgary's Deerfoot Trail that require long-term upgrades. As Michael King reports, how much the project will cost is still unknown – Oct 30, 2019

The City of Calgary unveiled plans for Deerfoot Trail on Wednesday, highlighting preliminary ideas for improvement areas.

READ MORE: Deerfoot Trail expansion: New lanes to be added to 21 km of road

The Deerfoot Trail study has been on the go since 2016, with the aim to improve Calgary’s busiest roadway.

The study is a joint project between the city and the provincial government, which owns Deerfoot Trail.

The objective is to develop short- and long-term plans to improve the roadway’s traffic flow while recommending safety and mobility upgrades.

The seven key improvement areas are:

  • Beddington Trail N.E.
  • McKnight Boulevard N.E.
  • 16 Avenue N.E.
  • 17 Avenue S.E./Memorial Drive
  • Peigan Trail S.E./Barlow Trail S.E./50 Avenue 
  • Glenmore Trail S.E.
  • Anderson Road/Bow Bottom Trail/Southland Drive S.E.

The city has presented a single plan for most of the sites, but the more complicated interchanges have more options.

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Both 17 Avenue Southeast/Memorial Drive and Anderson Road/Bow Bottom Trail/Southland Drive Southeast have three concepts each, with the city hoping to choose one by winter 2020.

Most of the changes involve adding or moving ramps to ensure better traffic flow on and off of Deerfoot.

Several intersections are slated to be moved, and at least three new river crossings have been proposed.

Jeffrey Xu, the project manager of the Deerfoot Trail study, said the drastic overhaul is needed.

“[Deerfoot Trail] is not working well,” said Xu. “We all understand the heavy traffic and frustration of Calgarians. That’s why, in 2016, the city of Calgary approached Alberta Transportation to deliver this joint study.”


Jerry Lau, an infrastructure manager with Alberta Transportation, was on hand Wednesday to talk about the cost of the project, but he stressed that the total cost is still unknown.

Lau clarified the province has a $210 million commitment to the project, which was laid out in the UCP’s first budget.

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“$110 million has been identified in the four-year capital plan,” said Lau. “And an additional $100 million has been identified beyond the capital plan.”

When asked how many of the interchanges could be completed with the $210 million budget, Lau reiterated that it’s too early to speculate on total costs.

The UCP’s budget is less than half of what the NDP had set aside for the project.

Public Consultation

As part of the study, the city has asked Calgarians for their input on the changes.

Four open houses are happening in the communities the city says will be most affected by the project. The details are as follows:

Wednesday, Nov. 13

Forest Lawn Community Association, 4909 Forego Ave. S.E. — 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 16

Riverbend Community Association, 19 Rivervalley Dr. S.E. — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 18 

Huntington Hills Community Association, 520 78 Ave. N.W. — 5:30 p.m to 8 p.m.

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Saturday, Nov. 23 

RT Alderman School, 725 Mapleton Dr. S.E. — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

An online survey is also open to the public until Nov. 25.

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