Calgary, AB,

City of Calgary moves forward on building interchange at Macleod Trail and 162 Avenue South

The City of Calgary is moving forward on the construction of a new interchange at Macleod Trail and 162 Avenue South. Construction of the first phase of a roadway detour will be started later this summer and will allow for the construction of two bridge overpasses this fall and winter.

"It has become apparent that this intersection is in need of an upgrade to an interchange," said Ward 13 Councillor, Diane Colley-Urquhart. "The new interchange allows for free-flowing traffic on Macleod Trail while making it easier for people to use the services off 162 Avenue and Sun Valley Boulevard."

"Residents and businesses in this part of south Calgary have been asking for a better way to enter and exit the existing east and west shopping and service areas," said Ward 14 Councillor, Peter Demong. "The interchange will also allow motorists to travel smoother and faster along Macleod Trail, whether they are going to communities in the far south of Calgary, or heading north towards the city centre."

After completing an analysis of the traffic flow at the intersection and doing extensive design evaluation, it was determined that the Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) is the most appropriate layout for an interchange at that location.

When completed, this will be the first urban DDI built in Canada. It has been used in a number of locations in the United States, and in various countries around the world.

"The DDI has significant operational benefits, particularly related to the timing of traffic signals which allows for more effective traffic flow through the interchange," said Kara Wolfe, Senior Transportation Engineer and Project Manager for The City. "The DDI design also allows us to begin developing a simple detour system early in the construction schedule and the opportunity of working on the bridge overpasses much earlier in the project schedule."

The first phase of the detour will be started later this summer and will allow for the construction of two of the bridge overpasses this fall and over the winter season. Other detour phases and more roadway construction will take place in 2016 and 2017. It is anticipated that the interchange will be completed by the fall of 2017.

A diverging diamond interchange is designed in such a way that the two directions of traffic on 162 Avenue will briefly cross to the opposite side of each other on bridges over Macleod Trail. This allows for more effective traffic flow at the signalized intersections within the interchange, and for left-turning vehicles to proceed without crossing opposing traffic. This design significantly reduces delay and improves efficiency compared to a more traditional diamond interchange.

Other benefits include more convenient pedestrian and cycling routes across the interchange, less space required for interchange bridges, increased capacity of turning movements to and from ramps, and a reduction in the number of points of conflict to help increase safety.

This project also includes intersection improvements at Shawville Boulevard and 162 Avenue, and a basket weave structure to accommodate access for southbound traffic onto Shawville Boulevard (south end of area shopping centre).

The estimated cost for this project is $65 million.

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