Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lighter, brighter downtown underpass takes shape

Walking through the 8 Street SW underpass is going to be cleaner, safer and more visually stimulating starting this May.

Crews installing paving stones on east side walkway
Pedestrian traffic is currently being directed to the west side of the 8 Street SW underpass while improvements to the east side walkway take place. But in a few short weeks, Calgarians will be treated to a whole new underpass experience as the east side opens up.

The east side underpass enhancements include construction of new sidewalks, concrete surface repairs, LED lighting, public art, and repairs and maintenance of upper and lower retaining walls.

“Safety and cleanliness are the most important elements in the use of places that people use, including downtown underpasses”, said Ben Barrington, Program Manager, Implementation Urban Strategy. “What’s happening on the 8 Street underpass addresses these concerns by not only doing necessary maintenance but adding an exciting visual experience from the new design and upcoming public art. It’s all about connecting people and places.”

Construction on east side walkway nears completion
Crews will repaint the bridges to make the area brighter, and will construct a public art installation between the two bridges. The bridges themselves will be cleaned, repainted and lit with new LED lighting.

When the enhancements on the east side are completed in May and it is opened to the public, the pedestrian walkway on the west side will be closed until the improvements are finished. As well, one lane of southbound vehicle traffic will be closed for the work to proceed.

All underpass improvements in this area are anticipated to be completed by early this fall.

The 8 Street SW Underpass Enhancement project is part of a broader corridor improvement program being undertaken by The City, to improve the pedestrian environment and connections between the Beltline and downtown communities.

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