Calgarians are getting a better idea of what the Green Line will look like when the line emerges from underground and crosses the Bow River on a bridge.
In preliminary renderings, The City of Calgary has the river pathway routed over the tunnel entrance with a park sitting atop the tunnel as part of segment 2A of the megaproject.
The proposed design allows all types of mobility to traverse the area while also allowing trains to enter and exit the 2 Avenue Station.
The renderings are part of ongoing gathering of public and stakeholder feedback.
“There still is a lot of conceptual pieces to (the Green Line plan) and so it, it’s a live conversation, and we’ll be coming back to key stakeholders and with the community as the design progresses,” Wendy Tynan, director of stakeholder communications, told Global News.
Designs based on community feedback and expert recommendations are due to be reviewed by the Green Line committee in May.
Peg Oneil, president of the Eau Claire Community Association, welcomes the proposed park area over the entrance of the LRT tunnel as part of the area development plan.
“The work (the city has) done on the West Eau Claire Park, down all the way to the Reconciliation Bridge — that will join up with East Village and make that running path so much nicer,” Oneil said.
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“One of key pieces that was built into the design of this space was to make sure that it could contribute to the vibrancy of the area and really integrate in with the future plans,” Tynan said.
Oneil anticipates construction in the area will disrupt her neighbours’ lives, disruption they’ve had to live through before.
“To live through the noise and the mess in the construction, everybody complains when the trees come down because it makes our life much less attractive,” Oneil told Global News.
“But I think the work that the city did with the West Eau Claire Park and how that’s finished, has really given people a lot of confidence that all of these next steps are going to be almost as nice as the renderings.
“Nothing’s ever as nice as the renderings.”
The Green Line team is also seeking input on the bridge design used by C-trains to cross the Bow River — two would not require a pier to be placed in the river, restricting river flow, and two would not have any structures above the bridge deck, freeing up sightlines.
Part of the bridge design could also include connecting to pathways in the Eau Claire Promenade, Centre Street and McHugh Bluff.
Oneil said there are two aspects to the bridge that are of interest to her community.
“One is where it lands on shore and how it interacts on ground level with our community,” Oneil said. “Our other main focus is what it’s going to look like from underneath when you’re on Prince’s Island. And that is a little less clear and the renderings I’ve seen so far.”
Oneil said Eau Claire residents she’s spoken to are concerned with what it will look like when a bridge crosses the urban oasis and constructed wetland.
“So how that’s going to look underneath is very significant to us.”
In June 2020, city council approved using a bridge to cross Bow River.
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The city is running virtual public engagement sessions all week, with topics to include planning in Crescent Heights, the LRT bridge and studies of BRT along Centre Street.
As of March 31, procurement on the first segment of the Green Line remains paused while provincial officials work with city officials on aspects of the $5-billion megaproject that is anticipated to create 20,000 jobs.
“Even if the procurement resumes today on Segment 1, that initial construction would not be beginning in 2021,” Green Line project manager Michael Thompson told Global News at the time.
— with files from Adam MacVicar & Matthew Conrod, Global News