Calgary,
14
October
2016
|
21:30
America/Denver

Macleod Trail to become free-flow as major milestone reached on Macleod Trail and 162 Avenue South interchange project

The Macleod Trail and 162 Avenue S interchange project will reach a major milestone as Macleod Trail becomes free-flow underneath the partially completed 162 Avenue overpass.

A recognition event was held today to mark the opening of the south side overpass bridge detour during the weekend of Oct. 15-16 which will result in the free flow of traffic on Macleod Trail with the removal of traffic signal lights.

"One of the goals of this project was to provide motorists with free-flow of traffic on Macleod Trail," said Ward 13 Councillor, Diane Colley-Urquhart. "By completing the first section of the overpass and separating the traffic, Macleod Trail is now free-flowing from Lake Fraser Gate to 194 Avenue.”

"Residents and businesses in this part of south Calgary have found this intersection to be a major bottleneck, not only for traffic on Macleod Trail but also in accessing the existing east and west shopping and service areas,” said Ward 14 Councillor, Peter Demong. “Although only partially completed at this time, the final interchange structure will make it easier for people to use the services off 162 Avenue and Sun Valley Boulevard.”

There is still a significant amount of construction to be done in the fall of 2017 as The City moves toward final completion of Canada’s first urban diverging diamond interchange (DDI).

The completed south side overpass will handle both east and west traffic over the next 12 months while crews construct the north side overpass. Pedestrian and cyclist access is also provided across Macleod Trail on the new overpass.

While the City is opening Macleod Trail to be free flow, there will be no immediate access for approximately two weeks to eastbound Sun Valley Boulevard and westbound 162 Avenue from southbound Macleod Trail while off-ramp work is completed. The inconvenience of this southbound closure is a necessary part of achieving traffic free-flow on Macleod Trail a year earlier than originally planned.

“The City has appreciated the patience of area residents and businesses, and of the motorists who have had to deal with countless detours and lane closures over the past 15 months,” said Kara Wolfe, Senior Transportation Engineer and Project Manager for The City. “We continue to ask for the understanding and patience of Calgarians as we complete this significant detour connection, and work hard to finish the project over the next year.”

The City decided to move ahead with a DDI since it was determined that the Macleod Trail and 162 Avenue area was a good fit for this interchange layout. The design will significantly reduce delays and improve efficiency compared to a more traditional diamond interchange.

For more details, go to calgary.ca/macleod162ave.