City Council approved the $61 million needed to have the West leg of the LRT go partially underground at 17 Avenue and 45th St. S.W. with a short bridge for traffic over the tracks.
Lower than expected construction costs are dropping the price-tag of digging the trench. The original proposal was $85 million to dig a tunnel. Now, the train will move through a trench, or what can be described as an open-aired tunnel:).
More than 1000 residents who live near the future line signed a petition to send the train subterranean to alleviate possible congestion and clear room for emergency crews.
The LRT line was approved two years ago at a cost of $700 million. Ratified by council in June, the C-Train’s route will veer up the middle of Bow Trail at street level, head underground as it heads south onto 17th Avenue at 33rd Street and then return to ground level at 41st Street. The line ends at 69th Street.
Construction of the eight-kilometre line is slated to begin next spring with trains chugging along by late 2012. It is the city's first LRT line since the northwest line’s construction to the University of Calgary in 1987.
Council also approved a land swap to construct 1,000-stall parkade near the new Ernest Manning high school.
***Image: View of Sunalta Station's Platform