FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The contractors and Alberta Transportation are committed to minimizing delays caused by construction, particularly during key travel times like long weekends, weekday mornings, and afternoon peak periods. Given the magnitude and scale of this project, there will be instances when it is not possible to complete the required work safely without disruptions to traffic flow. Drivers should expect congestion, especially in the summer months and allow for more time when travelling through construction zones.

When construction activities are expected to cause disruptions, Alberta Transportation will share the information with the public in the project newsletter, on the website and on 511 Alberta. Traffic operations are monitored and construction traffic is adjusted to maintain traffic flow. Occasionally unexpected traffic delays occur. These are addressed as quickly as possible.

We recognize construction is difficult, especially for those living immediately adjacent. However, the Government of Alberta established Restricted Development Areas around Calgary and Edmonton and designated the lands for use as Transportation Utility Corridors (TUC) in the 1970s. The Government of Alberta will not provide compensation for building this long-planned project.

Property value is influenced by a multitude of factors – condition of your home, condition of neighbouring homes, current housing market, economic climate (unemployment, etc.), community amenities, surrounding environmental factors such as noise or undesirable land uses and access to transportation, to name a few.

When complete, the ring road will result in approximately 100 kilometres of free-flow travel around the city. This translates into improved access to hospitals, schools, workplaces and recreation, reduced congestion within the city and improved quality of life. It also supports efficient goods movement within the province and Alberta’s economy.

Work on the WCRR is occurring within the Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC), which is land set aside to house the ring road, major power lines, pipelines and linear municipal utilities such as phone and internet lines. Tree roots can damage underground utilities, tree canopies can interfere with overhead utility lines and the trees themselves can become a roadway hazard.  

When the landscaping plans are available, they will be shared with the public for information. 

The plant species are pre-determined in the design-build contract and the locations will be determined within the constraints and usage requirements of the TUC and considering future maintenance resources. As a result, public input will not be sought on the landscaping plans.

The infrastructure within the TUC will be maintained by the Province of Alberta and the highway maintenance contractor. Mowing and weed management will be undertaken annually or bi-annually (as resources allow) and litter removal will occur as necessary.

Full completion of the West Calgary Ring Road is expected in 2024. Until construction is completed, each project is under the care and control of the contractor completing the work.

Alberta Transportation understands Albertans are eager to use the West Calgary Ring Road. The open-to-traffic dates will be based on the safety of those working on site and the driving public.

The road will be opened to traffic once the project has been successfully completed, which includes ensuring all safety considerations have been appropriately addressed.

Information about detours, traffic pattern changes and other construction impacts is shared with the public as it becomes available. Sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay informed.

A noise study predicts future noise levels based on anticipated traffic volumes to determine if sound attenuation is warranted based on Alberta Transportation’s guidelines. Specialized acoustical engineers who are registered to practice within the Province of Alberta conduct noise studies for provincial projects.

Alberta Transportation considers noise attenuation if sound levels exceed a 24-hour weighted average of 65 decibels. The City uses Leq10, which accounts for peak noise hours. As this is a provincial project on provincial land, Alberta Transportation noise guidelines will be applied.

More information is available on the noise guidelines and mitigation page.

A dust suppression program is in place and air quality is monitored so that dust and fine particulates resulting from construction stay within provincial ambient air quality objectives.

Dust is a natural phenomenon, and a part of construction. Dust levels are greatly impacted by environmental conditions such as wind speed and direction, precipitation levels, and temperature.

Dust suppression and mitigation on the West Calgary Ring Road projects includes:

  • Dust monitoring
  • Watering disturbed areas and unpaved roads
  • Applying dust suppressant products or processes such as hydroseeding (a planting process that sprays a mixture of seed and mulch on surfaces to minimize dust) at appropriate locations

The stormwater management system for this project has been designed to meet the requirements of The City of Calgary, Alberta Transportation, and Alberta Environment and Parks. These criteria take into account the occurrences of significant weather events.

The final design for the Bow River Bridge project includes widening portions of southbound Stoney Trail to provide three continuous lanes and adding a collector-distributor road between Crowchild Trail N.W. and Scenic Acres Link N.W. 

Click here for larger image

The collector-distributor road separates weaving traffic (caused by cars merging and exiting) from Stoney Trail, resulting in improved safety and traffic flow. When construction is complete and traffic is shifted to the new configuration, the existing bridge will carry three southbound Stoney Trail lanes plus one merge lane from the collector-distributor road. The new ramp bridge will carry traffic exiting to Tuscany Boulevard / Scenic Acres Link N.W. 

The new bridge will accommodate traffic exiting to Tuscany Blvd / Scenic Acres Link N.W.

Work has been focused on other areas of the project with significant progress being made elsewhere. The contractor has full control of the project schedule and will continue to make decisions to successfully deliver the project to completion. Work on this bridge is expected to continue in the 2021 construction season. 

Full completion of the West Calgary Ring Road is expected in 2024. Until construction is completed, each project is under the care and control of the contractor completing the work.  

Alberta Transportation understands Albertans are eager to use the West Calgary Ring Road. The open-to-traffic dates will be based on the safety of those working on site and the driving public. The road will be opened to traffic once the project has been successfully completed, which includes ensuring all safety considerations have been appropriately addressed. 

Information about detours, traffic pattern changes and other construction impacts is shared with the public as it becomes available. Sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay informed. 

The City of Calgary plans, designs and maintains the pathway network. A pathway connection between Greenwich and Bowness Park is outside the scope of this project and will not be completed as part of construction. Please contact the Upper Greenwich project for information about pathway connections planned for the development.

Master Plan Elements from UpperGreenwich.com

This area remains an active construction zone with the possibility of unseen safety hazards such as temporary lane markings, temporary lighting, reduced signage and construction vehicles and equipment. The reduced speed is intended to protect drivers and those working onsite. It will remain in place until construction is complete. 

We recognize construction is difficult, especially for those living immediately adjacent. However, the Government of Alberta established Restricted Development Areas around Calgary and Edmonton and designated the lands for use as Transportation Utility Corridors (TUC) in the 1970s.  

The southbound Stoney Trail carriageway is currently being constructed west of the existing road on the land available within the TUC. East of the TUC is Bowness Park and the planned community of Upper Greenwich which is a development within The City of Calgary. 

The multi-use pathway along the east side of Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. between Valley Ridge Drive N.W. and the future Crestmont Boulevard S.W. that has been disturbed because of the project will be replaced. Multi-use pathways are 3m wide unless they are under a bridge or beside a retaining wall, in which case they are 4.2m wide. Construction of future multi-use pathway connections is outside the scope of the project and the jurisdiction of Alberta Transportation.

Multi-use pathway on the south side of Crestmont Blvd S.W and the east side of Valley Ridge Blvd N.W.

All traffic detours are reviewed by the project team (including Professional Engineers registered in the province of Alberta) before implementation, and continually monitored for functionality during operation. There is a significant volume of traffic exiting from Valley Ridge and Crestmont using the West Valley Road S.W. detour to access eastbound Trans-Canada Highway. Drivers are asked to slow down, stay alert, follow posted speed limits and be courteous to one another. Detours in the area will be ongoing and changing until the project is complete.

Cross sections are intended to provide a general understanding of the road elevation and proximity to homes representative of the design at the time they are created. Areas adjacent to the cross section can be assumed to be similar to what is shown.  

A road profile for the Trans-Canada Highway is also available at westringroad.ca > North Project > Trans-Canada Highway Improvements.

When a cross section is taken ‘on skew’ the dimension will reflect that diagonal skew. This is why the width of the same road can be different depending on where the section is taken, or how some dimensions seem larger or smaller than in reality.

The current connection between the southbound Stoney Trail exit ramp and the westbound Trans-Canada Highway exit ramp is temporary. In the final road configuration, access to Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. from southbound Stoney Trail will be provided via the loop ramp just west of the bridges.

The temporary connection is needed to facilitate construction staging and will be removed when the permanent access from southbound Stoney Trail to Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. is complete as shown above.

Yes, the roundabout on Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. is two lanes and the ramps entering the roundabout flare to two lanes as they approach. 

One of the fundamental concepts in highway design is the clear zone. A clear zone is an area next to the road free of obstacles where drivers can regain control of their vehicle if it leaves the roadway. All roadside designs strive to provide generous clear zones because they increase the likelihood of a safe recovery instead of a crash. In the same way that ski runs are cleared of trees because the severity of a crash can be devastating, a vehicle travelling at high-speed impacting a stationary object is much more likely to cause severe or fatal injuries and could also force the vehicle into oncoming traffic involving other vehicles in the collision.

While clear zones are always preferred over barriers, each road is analyzed in context and in some situations, barriers are installed. The detailed engineering analysis used to determine clear zones and roadside barrier placement can be viewed in Alberta Transportation’s Roadside Design Process.

The cross sections for the North Project also show some of the planned barriers.

Highway Classification 

In Alberta, all provincial highways are assigned a Service Classification, which identifies the relative strategic importance of each highway in the network, and a Functional Classification, which identifies the core function of the roadway segment and whether access to adjacent land or mobility is prioritized. 

These classifications determine how funds are allocated to the construction of infrastructure and how roadway segments are designed. 

Service Classification 

There are four Service Classification levels, numbered 1 through 4, with Level 1 classification given to the most strategically important highways. Level 1 highways accommodate the efficient movement of people, goods and services inter-provincially and internationally. They connect Alberta’s major population centres to key destinations outside the province and typically serve long trip lengths. All Level 1 highways are also core routes in the National Highway System. 

Functional Classification 

There are five categories that describe the core function of the roadway in terms of its emphasis on mobility versus access: Freeway, Expressway, Arterial, Collector and Local. Freeways are intended to provide free-flow traffic and are therefore the most restrictive in terms of access.

 

Figure A-2-3-3-1a Core Roadway Function Chart [6], page 12, Chapter A, Alberta Transportation Highway Geometric Design Guide

The Calgary Ring Road is a Level 1 (Service Classification) Freeway (Functional Classification). Its core function is mobility, which means that choices about the road design prioritize mobility over access. 

For more information about these classifications, please see Alberta Transportation’s Highway Geometric Design Guide 

 

Balancing Access and Mobility 

In the specific context of the interchanges at Old Banff Coach Road S.W. and 17 Avenue S.W., there are two conditions that have resulted in the design being constructed today. 

Ramp Spacing  

The design standards referenced in the previous section set out minimum distances between freeway interchanges for accelerating and decelerating. This is related to the ability to safely maintain desired speeds on the freeway while also providing enough space to speed up and merge or exit and slow down. The spacing between 17 Avenue S.W., Bow Trail S.W. and Old Banff Coach Road S.W. does not safely allow for full directional access interchanges at Old Banff Coach Road S.W. and 17 Avenue S.W.  

Reasonable Access 

The interchanges at both Bow Trail S.W. and the Trans-Canada Highway provide for all movements. The half interchanges at Old Banff Coach Road S.W. and 17 Avenue S.W. provide access to and from the north and south respectively. This design allows Stoney Trail to safely function as a freeway as intended, while also providing reasonable access to the adjacent road network and lands.

Access using half interchanges

Click here for larger image

Full completion of the West Calgary Ring Road is expected in 2024. Until construction is completed, each project is under the care and control of the contractor completing the work.  

Alberta Transportation understands Albertans are eager to use the West Calgary Ring Road. The open-to-traffic dates will be based on the safety of those working on site and the driving public. The road will be opened to traffic once the project has been successfully completed, which includes ensuring all safety considerations have been appropriately addressed. 

Information about detours, traffic pattern changes and other construction impacts is shared with the public as it becomes available. Sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay informed.

Modern roundabouts are one of the safest forms of intersection control. The number and severity of collisions are generally reduced (compared to traditional intersections) due to fewer conflict points, lower vehicle travelling speeds and deflection angle (right angle and head on collisions are significantly reduced or eliminated as a result of vehicles entering a roundabout on a gentle angle).  

Additionally, roundabouts improve the environmental efficiency of a roadway by eliminating the need to stop (reduces fuel consumption) and wait (idling) at a traffic light.  

Given the improvement to safety and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, roundabouts are being utilized more frequently across Alberta. Drivers that are unfamiliar with roundabouts are encouraged to learn more about how to use them using the links provided below. 

The scope of the West Calgary Ring Road includes east-west pedestrian and cyclist access at the Old Banff Coach Road S.W., Bow Trail S.W. and 17 Avenue S.W. interchanges to cross Stoney Trail. Additionally, a north-south pathway connection will be provided under Bow Trail S.W. All the planned pathways will meet the requirements for barrier free accessibility.

Pathways constructed as part of the West Calgary Ring Road will connect to existing pathway infrastructure whenever possible. A conceptual alignment for a future Multi-Use Trail (MUT) along the east side of the Transportation Utility Corridor has been identified. Similar to other segments of the ring road, this MUT will not be developed prior to completion of this section in 2024 and will be funded by others. 

A preliminary plan showing the proposed pathway connections is available at westringroad.ca > pedestrians & cyclists.

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Link to Alberta Transportation website
Link to 511 Alberta road conditions map