The North project design-build contract was awarded to EllisDon for $463M on March 5, 2019. Both the North and South projects are being constructed in a design-build contract structure, which means design and construction services are contracted together to a single entity.
Construction has been ongoing since the spring of 2019 and includes:
- Constructing three km of six- and eight-lane divided freeway
- Reconstructing five km of Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) and one km of Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W.
- Two interchanges
- Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway)
- Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W.
- 1 Avenue S.W. connection
Please expect some delays. We recognize there are few alternative routes for people living and working in this area and keeping traffic flowing is a priority. A minimum of two lanes will remain open on Stoney Trail and the Trans-Canada Highway. However, some short-term closures and detours will be required to complete some aspects of construction.
North Project FAQs
What type of accommodations will be made for active modes at the Trans-Canada Highway / Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. interchange?
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.
Will barriers be installed to prevent vehicles from leaving the road and impacting homes?
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.
Traffic delays from construction and construction vehicles
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.
Safety concerns about the detour from Valley Ridge Boulevard N.W. to eastbound Trans-Canada Highway
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.
Requests for additional cross sections
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.
Some cross section dimensions appear inaccurate
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.
Is the current ramp from southbound Stoney Trail to Valley Ridge permanent?
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.
Will the ramp into Valley Ridge become two lanes as it approaches and accesses the roundabout?
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.
Final designs and cross sections
The plans and cross sections available on the website were updated in December 2020. The posted plans show the final road configuration, bridge structure alignment, and road dimensions upon completion of the West Calgary Ring Road. (Designs are subject to change – please see the FAQ on design-build contract delivery.)
Note: If you have difficulty reading or interpreting the plans or cross sections, please contact Estella Petzold for assistance.
What are the plans for landscaping and when will they be available?
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.
Will the community have input into the landscaping plans?
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.
Perceived loss of property value
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.
Who is responsible for maintaining the new infrastructure?
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.
Can you share estimated completion dates for various project elements?
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.
Alberta Transportation’s noise guidelines outline the conditions for noise attenuation in cities and urban areas. Noise attenuation will be considered if noise levels exceed a 24-hour weighted average of 65 decibels. These noise levels are determined by noise studies that consider roadway design, topography and anticipated traffic volumes to model, or predict, future levels. The future noise levels are used to determine if noise attenuation is warranted based on the provincial noise guidelines.
A specialized acoustical engineering consultant completed noise studies for the North project at the functional design stage and again at the detailed design stage. Typically noise studies are completed after the road design has been finalized, but the proximity of the ring road to homes on the edge of Valley Ridge prompted the noise studies to be initiated earlier. Both studies determined that noise attenuation was warranted for the north facing homes on Valley Meadow Close N.W. that back onto the TUC.
A final noise assessment will be conducted after the West Calgary Ring Road is open and traffic patterns have normalized. If noise levels are greater than anticipated additional noise attenuation may be provided in accordance with the provincial noise guidelines.
More information on noise attenuation is available at westringroad.ca > Noise Guidelines & Mitigation.
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.
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