Calgary - Recently, Calgary City Council approved the full 46-kilometre alignment for the Green Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) project from 160 Avenue N to Seton, along with 28 new stations.
According to the city, this is a major milestone for the program and ensures the Green Line can be built in stages as funding becomes available.
"We could not have reached this major milestone without the support of Calgarians," reads a statement from city officials.
"We would like to thank the community associations and business groups along the route, and the thousands of people who took part in events across the city over the last two-and-a-half years. Your local insight has helped shape this program — from envisioning the development potential around stations to changing the route to protect community assets, and refining locations of stations for better access for customers."
This summer the city will focus on securing the funding required to start construction on the first 20 kilometres from 16 Avenue N (Crescent Heights) to 126 Avenue SE (Shepard).
Officials are aiming to have shovels in the ground by 2020, with the first stage of construction complete by 2026. But some prep work can begin sooner.
In December 2016, the federal and provincial governments committed more than $250 million to fund a series of enabling works for the Green Line LRT for 2017/18. These projects will clear the path for future Green Line construction, and include utility relocations, land preparation, environmental remediation and transit improvements. Some projects are anticipated to begin this summer.
The city plans to be back in the fall to talk to communities within the Stage 1 construction area to further refine the design and plan for construction.
Planning will continue on future stages of the Green Line LRT as well as the Transit Oriented Development work in the north.
Area redevelopment plans and station area plans will continue to be refined in the southeast and will be presented to council in 2018.
At full community build-out, the Green Line will carry an estimated 240,000 trips per day. The stage one construction includes 20 kilometres of track and 14 stations.
Eight bridges — Elbow River, Blackfoot Trail, Highfield Blvd., 46 Avenue SE, Deerfoot Trail, Bow River, 78 Avenue SE and 90 Avenue SE — will be built and there will be one kilometre of elevated track between Inglewood/Ramsay to 26 Avenue station.
The route also includes a four-kilometre centre city tunnel from 20 Avenue N to Macleod Trail. There will be one light rail vehicle maintenance and storage facility north of 126 Avenue SE (Shepard).
The city anticipates a $4.65-billion capital construction cost.