Crews are putting the final touches on the 620-metre long tunnel that runs under the new Calgary International Airport runway and officials took the media on an advanced tour to show off the project on Wednesday.

The new tunnel extends Airport Trail from Barlow Trial to 36 Street NE and was constructed to accommodate six lanes of traffic, with the provision for a future transitway.

Tunnel facts:

  • The tunnel is 620 metres long and 36 metres wide
  • Vehicle clearance in the tunnel is 5.3 metres.
  • During tunnel construction over 600,000 cubic metres of earth and rock was excavated.
  • Over 2.5 kilometres of water and storm water utilities have been installed along with approximately 45 kilometres of electrical conduit.
  • 12,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel was installed, equivalent to about thirty 747 airplanes.
  • Concrete work on the structure itself began with the installation of footings followed by forming and casting of the tunnel walls and roof. A total of 50 concrete sections were poured. Each tunnel section required 850 cubic metres of concrete which was delivered by about 80 trucks over a 12-hour period.
  • The first concrete pour for the tunnel walls and roof took place on February 24, 2012, and the last pour was completed on October 30, 2012.
  • A total of 58,000 cubic metres of concrete was poured during the construction of the tunnel.
  • 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.
  • Various traffic control devices, lane control and life safety systems have been installed in the tunnel.

The public is invited to a grand opening “Show and Shine” on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Those wishing to attend are being asked to park at the McKnight-Westwinds LRT parking lot and shuttles will be provided to take people to the event.

The new tunnel will be open to traffic on May 25 starting at 5:00 a.m.

For more information on the event, click HERE.