“The Airport Trail tunnel is a critical piece of infrastructure that connects people, goods, and services locally, regionally, and globally,” said Michael Thompson, The City’s Director of Transportation Infrastructure. “It serves as a vital east-west corridor for Calgary that benefits all Calgarians.”
The project included extending Airport Trail from Barlow Trail to 36 Street N.E. as a six-lane roadway, and widening Airport Trail between Deerfoot Trail and Barlow Trail from four to six lanes. The tunnel provides an alternate route to-and-from the airport and will ultimately link Stony Trail East all the way to Centre Street.
“The most recent traffic volume counts show that over 13,000 vehicles use the tunnel daily,” Thompson added. “This will only increase in the future as the road network is expanded and the northeast quadrant of the city develops.”
The City worked closely with the Airport Authority during the construction of the tunnel and the Authority’s runway development project. This cooperation enabled The City to meet the critical milestone dates needed by the Airport Authority to complete its runway expansion program without delay.
Some interesting tunnel facts:
- The tunnel is 620 metres long, 36 metres wide and has a vehicle clearance of 5.3 metres.
- During tunnel construction over 600,000 cubic metres of earth and rock was excavated.
- A total of 58,000 cubic metres of concrete was poured during the construction of the tunnel.
- Approximately 45 kilometres of electrical conduit and 12,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel were installed.
- Thirty-two 100-horsepower exhaust jet fans, weighing 2,000 pounds each, and 1,380 lighting fixtures were installed onto the ceiling of the tunnel.
- The tunnel has received a number of awards including the recent 2015 Award of Excellence in Project Management from the Consulting Engineers of Alberta.