Wednesday, November 7, 2012

West LRT set to open December 10

Today, The City of Calgary announced the west leg of the LRT system will open for service December 10, 2012.

City of Calgary General Manager of Transportation Mac Logan says The City is thrilled to open the new LRT line and expanded public transit service for Calgarians.

The opening date meets the original start of service that was promised in 2009 when the SNC-Lavalin team was awarded the design-build contract for the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by The City of Calgary.

“We anticipate that come December 10, more than 30,000 people will choose to ride the new LRT,” said Logan. “We want to provide all Calgarians with the opportunity to make Calgary Transit their preferred transportation option and this project is a major step towards that goal.”

In November 2007, City Council approved funding for the West LRT project; however, construction did not begin until February 2010. During that time, City staff conducted the planning and public engagement phase to ensure the final result would meet the needs of Calgarians.

The massive project included six new LRT stations along more than eight kilometres of track, major roadway upgrades, construction of a new interchange, a high school, and a completely revamped pedestrian and cycling network.

“By constructing all the aspects of the project simultaneously, we were able to construct it in just three years,” said Logan. “To put this schedule into perspective, it usually takes two years to extend an existing LRT line to just one new station.

“We appreciate the support and understanding of people in west Calgary as we escalated the work.”

During construction, substantial additions and changes were made to the project. These included trenching the station at 45 Street, construction of a parkade at the 69 Street Station, a new Ernest Manning High School at 69 Street and the interchange at Sarcee Trail and 17 Avenue S.W.

The changes resulted in the opening date being pushed back to March 2013. However, after some intensive work by the contractor, in coordination with The City of Calgary, the majority of the construction work was completed this fall, allowing the opening date to be moved ahead.

“This project required a great deal of expertise and coordination—its success speaks volumes about the hard work and dedication of everyone involved,” said Logan. “There have been numerous challenges and the project team continually found solutions. This has been an amazing effort with outstanding results.”

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