CALGARY, ALTA. — Despite delays and appeals, construction continues on the last leg of Calgary’s ring road.
On Dec. 18 a winter construction update was released for the Southwest Calgary Ring Road (SWCRR) project by the Alberta government and KGL Constructors, detailing the work to be undertaken during the winter season.
“Much of the work will focus on structures – drilled and driven piling, retaining walls and embankment for bridges. Earthworks and road construction will also continue, but these activities are weather dependent,” the update stated.
The north gravel site, the update said, will continue to operate through the winter period with efforts focused on noise and dust management as well as stockpiling of material for use in the summer season.
YYC Cares, a Calgary residents group, recently lodged a complaint with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta that dust readings were not being properly conducted and maintain the bridge built over the Elbow River will negatively impact local wildlife and create flood risks for upstream and downstream residents.
Work on the road was halted in August after an environmental appeal was filed and a hearing was held in October to determine the impact of the ring road on the environment. A decision was reached in November, but the environmental advisory board has not yet released the decision to the public. According to the SWCRR winter construction update, “activity continues along Highway 8 for the bridge over the Elbow River, with piles currently being drilled for the piers, and for the new crossing at Cullen Creek,” and realignment of the Elbow River is planned for the spring, “following all provincial and federal requirements.”
Other winter construction activity includes earthworks for the realignment of the intersection of Highway 8, Sarcee Trail and Glenmore Trail, and piling for bridges in the Sarcee Trail Interchange.
Along the 90 Ave to 162 Ave S.W. portion of the project, foundations are “largely complete” for a bridge over Fish Creek and realignment of the creek is planned for the spring. Bridge construction continues for the 90 Ave Interchange and earthworks are underway for the northbound and southbound mainlines from 90 Ave to Anderson Road.
Along the 162 Ave S.W. to Macleod Trail S.E. section, south excavation will operate at a reduced level throughout the winter, “with efforts focused on stockpiling the material needed for the summer construction season.”
However, piling operations and construction of bridges and retaining walls around the Macleod Trail Interchange will continue throughout the winter.
The $1.42-billion project is a 21-kilometre portion of the ring road located between Highway 8 and Mcleod Trail S.E. Reconstruction of Glenmore Trail from Sarcee Trail to east of 37 Street is also part of the project as is an additional 10 kilometres of connector road upgrades.
The project includes a roadway flyover, railway crossing, 31 kilometres of six and eight lane divided highway and 49 bridges as well as 14 interchanges.
The next round of SWCRR public information sessions will take place in the first quarter of 2018 and will highlight planned construction for the summer months.
The genesis of the Calgary Ring Road project goes back to the 1970s when the Government of Alberta and the City of Calgary began planning. Land was purchased throughout the 1980s and 1990s. To date the northwest, northeast and southeast sections of the road are in operation. Preliminary
construction of the southwest portion of the road began in July 2016 and major construction began in spring 2017. Completion of the ring road is scheduled for 2021.