The Crowchild Trail Upgrades Project: That’s A Wrap!

Completion of short-term improvements

If you live in Calgary, you’ve likely driven through The Crowchild Trail Upgrades, an $87 million project with the goal of improving traffic flow along Crowchild Trail from Bow Trail to 5 Avenue N.W. and improving connections for pathway users in the area. The sheer magnitude and complexity of this project is what’s put it on the map – adding new lanes, relocating ramps, upgrading the pathway network, and rehabilitating and retrofitting bridges which together, stretch over the Bow River, CP Railway and LRT tracks, other major roadways, pathways and sensitive habitats, all while maintaining traffic flow to minimize congestion during construction.

Given that Crowchild Trail is a critical part of Calgary’s transportation network – a skeletal road that sees upwards of 100,000 vehicles a day – The City made a commitment to citizens from the onset of this project to conduct construction while keeping all lanes of traffic open in both directions between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays.

To do so, the project team took the innovative approach of building temporary platforms directly below the bridges which enabled all necessary work to take place over the Bow River, over a set of CP Railway tracks, public transit tracks and other major roadways. This approach also enabled them to work under the bridges during the day while vehicles continued to pass freely overhead and fish habitats and wildlife remained undisturbed below.

Innovation remained a theme throughout the life of this project as the team also identified the opportunity to re-use the 1960s structures in their entirety by rehabilitating and widening the bridges that were already in place. This approach proved to be better for the environment (less waste) and helped reduce the costs associated with building brand-new bridges and demolishing the existing ones, not to mention the significant traffic impacts that would have resulted from replacing the bridges altogether. Further details on the innovation behind this project can be viewed here.

Few projects of this complexity have been done before in North America. Construction began on this multi-year project on Oct. 29, 2017 and the short-term improvements phase of this overarching project is now mostly complete with some minor work, noise wall construction and clean up remaining.

The City is grateful for the patience and understanding of the many citizens, communities and area businesses that continued to bear with us throughout the life of this construction project.

Further details can be found at:


From February 2015 to December 2016, The City of Calgary worked with Calgarians to identify short, medium, and long-term changes and upgrades to address issues and challenges along Crowchild Trail from 24 Avenue N.W. to 17 Avenue S.W. and to accommodate the continued growth of Calgary.

The study recommendations were approved by Council in May 2017 at which point funding for the implementation of the short-term recommendations was also approved, launching the Crowchild Trail Upgrades Project.


Summary of upgrades we completed:

Complete life cycle rehabilitation on the following bridges:

  • Westbound Memorial Drive bridge (over Crowchild Trail) Bridge 1
  • Crowchild Trail (over eastbound Memorial Drive) Bridge 2
  • Crowchild Trail bridge (Over the Bow River) Bridge 3
  • Northbound Crowchild Trail (over Bow Trail) Bridge 4
  • Southbound Crowchild Trail (over Bow Trail) Bridge 5
  • Westbound Bow Trail ramp to southbound Crowchild Trail (over Bow Trail) Bridge 6

Added traffic lanes:

  • Added a northbound traffic lane along Crowchild Trail between Bow Trail & 5 Ave N.W.
    • Included the widening of bridges 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Added a southbound traffic lane along Crowchild Trail between Memorial Drive & Bow Trail
    • Included the widening of bridges 1, 2, 3

On and Off ramps:

  • Moved the westbound Bow Trail to northbound Crowchild Trail ramp to the right side of Crowchild Trail.
  • Moved the westbound 10 Avenue S.W. to northbound Crowchild Trail ramp to the right side of Crowchild Trail.
  • Widened the northbound Crowchild Trail to eastbound Bow Trail ramp.
  • Relocated the northbound Crowchild Trail to eastbound Memorial Drive ramp.

New signalized intersections (that we built, that weren’t there already):

  • Added a new signalized intersection at 10 Avenue S.W. & Bow Trail
  • Added a new signalized pedestrian crossing at Parkdale Boulevard & Kensington Road N.W.

Intersection improvements:

  • Made improvements at at the N.E. and S.E. corners of the Crowchild Trail & 5 Avenue N.W. intersection
  • Made improvements at the S.E. and S.W. corners of the Crowchild Trail & Kensington Road N.W. intersection

Pathways & Landscaping:

Added pathways east and west of Crowchild Trail:

  • From Kensington Road along the north side of Memorial Drive, connecting to the pedestrian overpass at 21 Street N.W.
    • Along Kensington Road N.W. from 25 Street N.W. to Crowchild Trail.
  • Restored green space, added trees, landscaping and naturalization (including native seed mixes and wild flowers).
  • In select locations along Crowchild Trail, built/are building noise walls with accompanying landscaping