Committee reveals new path for Green Line LRT through downtown Calgary
CALGARY -- There are some big changes proposed for the biggest public infrastructure project in Calgary’s history.
After about seven hours behind closed doors, the city committee overlooking the $4.9 billion-project revealed a new alignment through the Beltline and downtown core. The proposed changes, which will need to be approved by council in March, include a shorter tunnel and a bridge over the Bow River.
The changes were necessary to keep the project on time and on budget, the mayor said. Naheed Nenshi added the updated path will allow the city to improve busing north of the Bow RIver.
“The idea is that $100 million or so will be used for queue jumping, for allowing buses to get around traffic and really much improving the bus experience from the north, which is huge transit ridership, until we build the next phase of the Green Line going north,” Nenshi said.
The improved Bus Rapid Transit route will run from Sixth Avenue S all the way north to 144th Avenue N until phase two of the Green Line is completed.
The proposed plan is to now go underground near Fourth Street S.E. and head east-west along 11 Avenue S.E. The track will then head north-south along Second Street S.W. before coming back up to the surface in the area around Eau Claire. The Green Line LRT will then go over a bridge across the river and run along Centre Street at level with street traffic.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, the plan was to have the line north of the river completely underground until 16th Avenue N. Now trains will run along the surface north of the Bow River.
The city is now accepting public feedback on the updated proposal. Administration will come to council with its final alignment plan for phase one in March.
Preparation work for the project has already started on land in the southeast and construction is scheduled to start in 2021.
Finding cash flow for the proposed C-Train line has been a struggle since the province announced it was withholding $480 million in the short term, with the bulk of the funds not expected to come until at least 2023 and beyond.