Project Update – March 1, 2021

What’s Happening in Traffic This Week

Trans-Canada Highway Reduced to One Lane

Every night this week (Monday, March 1 to Friday, March 5), from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the Trans-Canada Highway will be reduced to one lane in each direction at Stoney Trail for bridge work.

Equipment Crossing at Old Banff Coach Road S.W. 

Trucks hauling excavated material from the interchange site will be using the traffic signals on Old Banff Coach Road S.W., between 89 Street S.W. and 101 Street S.W., with increased frequency.

All work is weather dependent. Please check 511 Albertaand The City of Calgary’s traffic information map  for up-to-date information on traffic detours and speed reductions. For all other project information, please visit

We appreciate your patience during construction.

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Meet in the Middle

In structural engineering, diaphragms transfer lateral (horizontal) loads to vertical elements of a structure. In this case, the pier diaphragm connects the girder spans (lateral / horizontal load) to the centre piers (vertical structures).

Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. Interchange 

Piling for two new bridges continues just east of Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. 

Earthworks at Old Banff Coach Road S.W. Nearing Completion; Piling to Begin

The excavation at the future Old Banff Coach Road S.W. interchange site is almost complete. Piling for the bridge structures is expected to start the week of March 8. Pile driving involves a pneumatic hammer striking steel piles and some noise and vibrations can be expected.

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Are you an early merger or a late merger?

If this photo made you uneasy, you are not alone. For many people, two lanes merging into one causes a great deal of anxiety. If you stay in the open lane or move over early, it can be frustrating to see other drivers ‘cutting in’ ahead of everyone waiting in line. If you end up in the lane that’s ending for whatever reason, drivers in the open lane may refuse to let you in.

This circumstance – when two lanes merge into one – is called a zipper merge and there is a proper way to use one, but it only works if everyone is operating by the same rules. On the West Calgary Ring Road, the ramp from southbound Stoney Trail to eastbound Trans-Canada Highway ends in a zipper merge.

Traffic will flow most quickly through the bottleneck if both lanes are used right up until the merge, and then vehicles take turns or alternate (like the teeth on a zipper). In other words, late merging coupled with taking turns will keep everybody moving. The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) estimates zipper merges can reduce congestion by up to 40 per cent! Their video explains more about why and how. 

In the United States, several DOTs (department of transportation) have rolled out education campaigns with slogans like ‘merge late, cooperate!‘ and ‘zip the urge to merge and take turns!‘ to encourage drivers to start zipper merging.