Tuesday, November 1, 2011

4th Street S.E. Underpass opens

Whether walking, cycling or driving a vehicle, Calgarians' commutes will be a lot smoother in the Centre City with the opening of the 4th Street S.E. Underpass.

The $70 million open concept, bright roadway connects Olympic Way at 11 avenue S.E. near Stampede Park with East Village's 9th Avenue S.E. under the CP Rail tracks.

"The underpass is critical to the future development of East Village," said Michael Broan, CMLC's president and CEO. "It also supports the Calgary Stampede master plan redevelopment, the National Music Centre and other projects slated for the area."

The pedestrian friendly underpass has wide walkways, dedicated bikelanes and state-of-the-art LED lighting in its walls and handrails to make the space lighter and more inviting. It also houses a kinetic artwork installation in its canopy. Hundreds of aluminium fins are set within a galvanized meal armature fastened by pivots that allow each fin to move with the wind or a passing train to light the space below.

Preparation for the 4th Street SE Underpass began in 2008 and involved the relocation and lowering of significant underground utility works, relocation of approximately 3,500 meters of rail storage tracks from downtown to the Highfield Industrial area, lowering 4th Street SE and 9th Avenue SE, and removing roughly 60,000 tonnes of dirt. The underpass was also realigned to save the historic King Eddy Hotel and make the dream of the National Music Centre possible.

The cost of the underpass project is shared by CMLC and the City of Calgary’s Transportation Infrastructure Investment Plan (TIIP), with CMLC committing $42 million and the City contributing $28 million.  Through a competitive tendering process, Graham Construction was awarded the contract to build the 4th Street SE Underpass.  The structural design of the underpass was undertaken by Stantec Consulting Ltd. and Buckland & Taylor Ltd., with architectural considerations undertaken by Broadway Malyan and Marshall Tittemore Architects.

Joint project of CMLC and City of Calgary Department of Transportation Infrastructure:
  • Cost is $70 million, shared by:   
    • CMLC: $42 million  
    • City of Calgary Transportation Infrastructure Investment Plan (TIIP): $28 million 
  • Length is 225 meters 
  • Sidewalks are 3.2 meters wide (pedestrian path is 1.6 meters wide; cycling path is 1.3 meters wide and strip between the two is .3 meters wide) 
  • Galvonized steel canopy features kinetic art composed of hundreds of aluminum fins set within metal armature.  The fins are fastened to pivots that allow each fin to move with the motion of the wind or a passing train. There are 696 independently moving louver blades on each canopy for a total of 1,392 on the underpass. 
  • Will accommodate an estimated 22,100 vehicle trips a day once build out is complete in East Village  
  • Involved an estimated 340,000 direct man hours  
  • Approximately 60,000 tonnes of dirt was removed during construction 
  • Utilities such as storm sewer, electrical duct, ATCO gas, Bell fibre, Rogers fibre, Ledcor fibre, Enmax District Energy pipe (new install) were relocated underground  
  • 3,500 meters of rail storage tracks were moved from downtown to Highfield Industrial Area 
  • 9th Avenue S.E. was lowered by approximately two meters and 4th Street lowered by 6.75 meters  
  • 3,400 cubic meters of concrete went into bridge and flatwork 
Related Calgary City News Blog posts: 

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