Thursday, December 10, 2015

Green Line north – field investigation begins this week!

Residents, businesses, and visitors to Calgary may notice drilling activity in various locations along Centre Street North, downtown, and in Prince's Island Park starting this week. This work marks the first step in investigating potential Green Line routes in the Centre City and up towards communities in north Calgary along Centre Street.

Drilling last year for the southeast leg of the Green Line
Why are we drilling?
Geotechnical drilling is usually done before planning to build any kind of infrastructure. The idea is to test the stability of surrounding area and collect soil and rock samples to determine if there is anything in the ground that may impact future construction. The Green Line will travel up Centre Street North, and we are currently gathering technical information to help us understand the opportunities and challenges involved with building an elevated, ground level, or underground transit line.

Does this mean construction is starting on the Green Line?
No. Construction is not starting on the Green Line yet. The Green Line team will be starting public engagement on the north leg of the Green Line in January, and will be focused around stations, community integration and route alignment (underground, elevated or street-level LRT). Drilling is just the first step in understanding some of the technical considerations for the project.

Are there any environmental impacts related to the drilling?
Our crews are very careful when drilling in environmentally sensitive areas such as along the Bow River. While the drilling is loud and involves heavy machinery, the impacts on the surrounding environment are quite small. The holes that are drilled in the ground will vary in depth at each location. Trees around the drilling area will be protected, and boreholes will be filled and remediated after samples are taken.

About the Green Line
The Green Line will be a 40 km long transit line extending from Seton in the southeast to Country Hills in the north. Once constructed, it will nearly double the size of Calgary’s current LRT network, providing approximately 300,000 Calgarians with reliable and efficient transit service. The Green Line will not only move people from point A to point B – it will be a staple of the communities that it touches, creating Transit Oriented Development (TOD) areas where people can live, work and play in close proximity to public transit.

Green Line stations will be built for low-floor trains, meaning they will be small in scale and seamlessly integrated into communities with strong walking, cycling and bus connections to and from each station.

Recent milestones
City Council recently approved three important milestones for the Green Line project:
  1. The Green Line route alignment and location of 15 stations on the southeast leg of the line from 4 Street S.E. to Seton.
  2. The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan for the southeast leg of the line, which included plans for future development in Inglewood/Ramsay/26 Avenue S.E., Millican/Lynnwood/Ogden, and South Hill.
  3. A formal request to the Province for funding the Green Line LRT.
The recommendations presented to Council were based on a number of streams of input, including public and stakeholder engagement, technical analysis, and discussions with the development community. The project has come a long way since our first public meetings in January 2015, and we were able to develop a plan that balanced the needs and aspirations of neighbourhoods in the southeast, create a transit service that will move people efficiently around the southeast part of the city, while also providing the opportunities for new development in communities. We look forward to working through a similar process with communities in the north and downtown.

Stay tuned for public engagement opportunities starting in January 2016. Visit the website for updates on upcoming events and opportunities to get involved!

Follow the Green Line story!
Twitter: @yyctransport #GreenLineYYC
Instagram: GreenLineYYC

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