Southeast Calgary train crossing to close on Wednesday

Iconic Calgary rail crossing closes for good
WATCH: It’s been in Calgary since 1883 but the rail crossing at 8 Street S.E. has closed for good. As Lauren Pullen reports, the community has come together to remember what was.

On Wednesday, the City of Calgary will be permanently closing the train crossing at 8 Street S.E.

READ MORE: Calgary drivers beware: 8 Street S.E. to close permanently at railway tracks

The city said the closure is needed to allow Canadian Pacific Rail to begin “reconfiguration and operations as part of land negotiations for the Green Line LRT project.”

Once the closure is in place, drivers are encouraged to use Olympic Way/4 Street S.E. or 11/12 Street S.E. to move north or southbound.

Pedestrians and cyclists, meanwhile, can use the Elbow River Pathway on the east side of the Elbow River under the CP Rail bridge to connect to north and southbound 8 Street S.E. and 9 Avenue S.E.

Crossing closure concerns

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said residents he has talked to are overwhelmingly against the closure.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s going to sever a vital link between the communities,” Carra said on Tuesday. “For people in Ramsay, it’s going to turn Ramsay more and more into an island.”

Carra said while a vocal minority is in favour of the closure, losing an access point to a community is rarely a positive move.

“Connectivity is so important to the success of our communities and if you start cutting out that connectivity, you’re going to create a lot more problems,” said Carra.

He said that while there will be issues for drivers in the short term, those who use bike paths will also be impacted.

“We have to get a better active-modes scenario [for cyclists] together in the short term,” said Carra. “When we build the Green Line station, it will become much better for all modes [of transportation].”

Carra said the city is also looking at a new underpass that would connect 9 Street S.E. to Ramsay but no firm plans or timelines have been made.

– With files from Global News’ Melissa Gilligan