The rebuilding of Calgary’s Victoria Park/Stampede CTrain Station officially started on Thursday.
Calgary Transit is collaborating with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) on aspects of the rebuild related to station design and transit service but says it is being run and funded by the CMLC.
In a Thursday news release, CMLC president and CEO Kate Thompson said the groundbreaking is the first “highly visible” step in a process that’s been underway since 2019.
Calgary Transit says the redesign will see the stairs and an overpass at 15 Avenue Southeast removed and the creation of at-grade pedestrian crossings as well as at-grade platforms with increased capacity.
The removal of the staircases on Macleod Trail and within the Stampede grounds will happen sometime before the end of October, at which time new, accessible street-level pedestrian crossings will be built at Macleod Trail, as well as street-level access across the LRT tracks into Stampede Park.
“When the project is complete, Calgarians will have a much more accessible and modernized LRT station at Victoria Park/Stampede,” the CMLC said.
Calgary Transit’s Service design manager Chris Jordan says the project is “well aligned” with Calgary Transit’s ongoing work to improve accessibility.
“The new ground-level access is going to be much better integration with the adjacent communities, both Stampede Park and the west side of Macleod Trail,” Jordan said.
“It’s actually a preferred way for customers to access the LRT station in an urban environment.”
While the rebuilding of the LRT station is underway, there will be a new, temporary LRT station and platform built so customers can continue to access transit services.
As work on the redesign of the LRT station moves ahead, the CMLC will also be managing the extension of 17 Avenue east across the LRT tracks into Stampede Park.
“This new connection will serve as a key pedestrian and vehicle corridor linking new and existing mixed-use development on either side of Macleod Trail,” the CMLC said.
“The extension of 17 Avenue is a long-needed linkage in the area that will help Calgarians be better connected to this historic and iconic part of the city,” Jim Laurendeau, vice president of Park Planning and Development with the Calgary Stampede, said.
“It opens up Stampede Park to the west, providing better access for our neighbours in the Beltline and beyond.”
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke highly of the project with reporters at city hall on Thursday and added the project will improve connectivity between East Village and 17 Avenue through the park.
“Right now, 17 Avenue dead ends at Stampede Park,” Nenshi said. “It also opens the park up and opens East Village to the 17th Avenue Retail District. I’m really excited about it.”
According to officials, the project is currently budgeted at $83 million.
The CMLC said Calgarians can expect periodic lane closures on northbound Macleod Trail during construction but all roads and the LRT station will remain open throughout.
The project is being completed in conjunction with the $500 million BMO Expansion project, currently underway at Stampede Park, with a completion date of 2024.
The new LRT station is scheduled to be completed in 2023 while it’s expected the 17 Avenue extension will be finished in 2024.