Green Line LRT work to continue near Saddledome as NHL season approaches

The intersection at 12 Avenue S.E. and Olympic Way has been closed to allow for crews to relocate utility lines to make way for a future tunnel under Calgary's downtown core. Global News

Driving to the Scotiabank Saddledome to catch a game might take a few extra minutes over the coming weeks as early work on the Green Line LRT project continues.

The intersection of 12 Avenue S.E. at Olympic Way has been closed since mid-summer as work crews install new utility lines to make way for a future tunnel under the downtown core.

But those road closures led to some traffic headaches ahead of the Flames pre-season matchup against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.

According to project officials, concerns over traffic jams in the area have been addressed.

“Work has advanced enough at that intersection at 12 Avenue and Olympic Way to help us to reduce the construction footprint in the area,” Green Line director of stakeholder relations Wendy Tynan told Global News. “We’re really looking at plans now so that we can do everything that we can in advance that October 13 date, which is the first game of the regular NHL season.”

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Those plans are expected to include an additional access point for Calgarians coming to events in the area.

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The intersection is expected to remain closed until early November as other phases of the utility work are planned further north on Olympic Way in early 2023.

With other projects ongoing in the area — including upgrades to the Victoria Park LRT station and Stampede Trail construction — Tynan suggested Calgarians check the city’s website or social media platforms to get the most up-to-date information about the impacts of the ongoing work.

“Everyone is sharing the information to provide Calgarians with as much information as possible before they drive into the area,” Tynan said.

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The utility work under the downtown core began in April and is expected to cost $100 million.

It’s one of the early projects as part of the overall $5.5 billion Green Line LRT, which will include a tunnel with stations running from Victoria Park to Eau Claire. However, construction on a tunnel still remains years away.

Earlier this month, Green Line officials released a request for proposals (RFP) to two qualified consortiums of companies to design, construct and finance the first phase of the line, which will run from Shepard in the city’s southeast to Eau Claire.

Project officials shortlisted two groups of companies: Bow Transit Connectors and City Link Partners to compete for the contract.

According to the Green Line Board, one of the consortiums will be selected in early 2023 as the development partner, which will then trigger a 12-month development phase to collaborate on a design, costs, schedule and determine risks.

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