Project Update

July 7, 2023

What’s Happening in Traffic

West Bow River Bridge Traffic Shift

This week the new, southbound, West Bow River Bridge opened to traffic. In the coming weeks, rehabilitation on the existing northbound bridge will begin and additional traffic changes will be needed. Please be mindful of onsite signage and continue to exercise caution while driving through the area.

Looking south at traffic on the new Bow River Bridge

Stampede Week Traffic

The Calgary Stampede brings thousands of visitors to Calgary each year and injects more than $500 million into Alberta’s economy (Calgary Stampede). Many tourists will be trying to find their way around our city. Please be courteous on the road during this busy time.

All work is weather dependent. Please check 511 Alberta and 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.

Braided Ramps

The bridge between Highway 8 and 17 Avenue S.W., sometimes referred to as a basketweave bridge or braided ramps because of the crisscross shape, separates the traffic merging onto northbound Stoney Trail from the traffic exiting to 17 Avenue S.W. This grade separation improves traffic flow and safety by eliminating weaving traffic.

Looking north at the braided ramps to and from northbound Stoney Trail

In June, the abutments were backfilled and the approach slabs were poured.

The concrete abutment walls are complete
The abutment walls are lined with waterproofing fabric and the first layer of backfill is added and compacted
Compacting backfill on the south abutment
Pouring the south approach slab

Approach slabs, made of rebar and concrete, cover the backfilled abutment area and provide the transition from the road to the bridge deck.

Concrete blocks are used to simulate the weight of asphalt on the deck, which allows the expansion joints to be cast in conditions similar to the final state to prevent the joints from moving when the deck is paved

Expansion joints, found between the approach slab and the bridge deck, allow for a smooth ride across the various concrete components the bridge and are filled with a flexible material that will expand and contract as temperatures change.

Springbank Ravine Culvert Inlets and Outlets

In 2021 and 2022, 660 linear metres of drainage pipe was installed in the Springbank Ravine and more than 1 million cubic metres of fill was used (a cubic metre is roughly equivalent to 1,000 litres, totalling more than 1 billion litres of fill in the ravine). The drainage pipe (or culvert) allows stormwater to continue along its natural drainage course.

Both stormponds south of Bow Trail drain into the culvert. Headwalls, or small retaining walls, at the culvert inlets and outlets help to control erosion and stabilize embankments.

Backfilling around culvert headwalls
A view of the culvert outlet and inlet headwalls in the southwest corner of the interchange from above
Backfill around the headwall is compacted and density-tested
Large rock called rip rap is placed at a culvert inlet to slow the stormwater and catch debris

The Final Deck Pour(s) on the West Calgary Ring Road

Over the next few weeks, the concrete for the flyover bridge deck will be poured. The bridge is too long to be poured at one time and will require several overnight pours. In the summer months, bridge decks are often poured in the night when the temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation from the concrete.

The deck pours will involve concrete trucks accessing the site, pumps, cranes and directional lighting. Minimal disruption is anticipated for adjacent residents; however, additional noise should be expected because of the number of trucks and crew members required for the operation.

The yellow truss screed is installed on the bridge in preparation for the deck pours