Wednesday, August 24, 2016

17 Avenue SW gets a facelift

After 30 years, we’re rebuilding 17 Avenue SW so it can continue to serve businesses and citizens for decades to come. What started out as a routine road maintenance project, turned into one of the more complex projects on The City’s docket. The biggest factor? It’s location.

Macleod Trail S.E. to 2 Street S.W.
Logan Tolsma, Project Manager
In the heart of one of Calgary’s most popular places to shop, dine, and do business, one does not simply dig up the 2.5km road between Macleod Trail and 14 Street SW, replace 3m deep utilities and then rebuild the road. In addition to this work, the project includes new sidewalks east of 2 Street SW, improved sidewalk space and pedestrian crossings at all intersections, new LED lighting and a new road design.

How is The City planning this project so the 17 Avenue SW area can continue to be a great place to visit during construction? Project manager Logan Tolsma explains, “We’re approaching this project differently because of its unique surroundings. We’ve been meeting with businesses and learning about their priorities for the past year. That includes regular meetings with BRZs and a questionnaire for businesses. It allowed us to learn about their busy times, deliveries, access, patio locations- all the things that combined, results in their success”. Tolsma adds, “In the end, this information feeds directly into the construction planning.”
Volunteer Way (Centre Street S.) Gateway

That intimate approach applies to how construction is now unfolding. “We actually changed the schedule once we heard that businesses wanted more predictability and lead time before construction started,” Tolsma continues. That means starting the less impactful shallow utilities this year, followed by the major work in 2017 and 2018. This two-phase approach also provides less risk to the project overall. Furthermore, a contractor will be hired seven month before the major work begins. The extra time means a better approach to planning and staging the construction in this busy entertainment district.

5 Street S.W. Gateway
“When it comes down to it, we want to make sure people can still get to the area safely while we’re doing this work,” Tolsma confirms. “While we can’t make the construction invisible, we can certainly do our best to make sure it respects the people and businesses that make the area a great place to be.”

14 Street S.W. Gateway

You can read more about the 17 avenue SW reconstruction project at

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