Friday, January 23, 2015

1 Street S.W. underpass enhancements begin

Artist’s rendering of design of new look walkway
 January 26 will see the start of construction on enhancements to the 1 Street S.W. underpass to provide greater safety and comfort for users of the underpass pedestrian walkways.

A number of safety and comfort issues were identified at the underpass including poor lighting, water drainage problems, uneven sidewalks and general deterioration of the underpass structure. Through a collaborative design process, enhancements were developed for both the underpass structure and the pedestrian environment extending from 9 to 10 Avenue S.W., including improved lighting, new sidewalks and guardrails, integrated art and wayfinding elements, water mitigation and painting of retaining walls and structure beams.

“The 1 Street S.W. underpass enhancement project is part of a broader underpass improvement program being implemented by The City to improve the pedestrian environment and underpass connections between the Beltline and downtown communities,” said Graham Gerylo, Centre City Implementation Project Manager. “The 1 Street S.W. underpass was prioritized for enhancement because it has the highest pedestrian use of all Centre City underpasses (9,500 pedestrians per day), was identified by community stakeholders as an important gateway connection, and in recognition of its significance as a heritage structure.”

The budget for this project is $3.8 million and it’s anticipated that the enhancements will be completed by the summer of 2015.

“Calgary Downtown Association is very excited about seeing improvements to the various underpasses in the centre city, starting with 1 Street,” said Maggie Schofield, Executive Director of Calgary Downtown Association. “Underpass improvements are extremely worthwhile investments toward a safer, more inviting space that we are pleased to support, both as a stakeholder, and financially.”

1 Street SW underpass from 9 Avenue
“This has been a great collaborative effort involving many groups and organizations in working towards the enhancement of a very well-used pedestrian corridor and important connector to downtown.”

This project will result in some underpass pedestrian and road restrictions and closures. Starting Sunday, January 25, the west side pedestrian walkway of the 1 Street S.W. underpass will be closed between 9 Avenue and 10 Avenue until the enhancements on the west side are completed. During this time, pedestrians will need to use the east side pedestrian walkway. One lane of southbound vehicle traffic will also be closed during construction on the west side.

When the enhancements on the west side are completed and it is opened to the public, the east side pedestrian walkway (as well as one lane of southbound vehicle traffic) will be closed until those enhancements are finished.

For more details about the project, go to calgary.ca/1stunderpass.

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