The Government of Alberta announced that the Calgary Ring Road is now open to public traffic, several months ahead of schedule.

Calgary’s ring road is one of the largest infrastructure undertakings in Calgary’s history and includes 197 new bridges and 48 interchanges. The 101-kilometre free-flowing Calgary Ring Road opened to traffic Dec. 19, completing a project decades in the making.

“Calgary’s ring road is a project that has been decades in the making and its completion is a real cause for celebration. This has been an important project and our government got it done. With this final section completed, travelling just got a little easier for families and for workers. This will not only benefit Calgarians and residents in the metro region, it will provide a boost to our economy, as goods can be transported more easily across our province,” said Premier Danielle Smith.

Although construction of the entire ring road project began in 1999 under former premier Ralph Klein, discussions on a ring road around the City of Calgary began as early as the 1950s. In the late 1970s, under former premier Peter Lougheed, high-level planning and land acquisition started and a transportation utility corridor was established to make the Calgary Ring Road a reality.

“The final section of the Calgary Ring Road is now complete, and I’d like to acknowledge the work done by former premiers and transportation ministers and their vision to build Alberta. I’m proud to announce that the final section was completed on budget and months ahead of schedule,” said Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors.

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The final portion of the project (West Calgary Ring Road project) was completed by Calgary Safelink Partners, a joint venture that included Graham Construction, Carmacks Enterprises and VINCI Construction Geo Infrastructure.

“Graham is honoured to be a part of this tremendous achievement that exemplifies success through collaboration and a unified vision. Our client and the citizens of Alberta will benefit for decades to come,” said Andy Trewick, president & CEO, Graham Construction.

The West Calgary Ring Road project is No. 89 on ReNew Canada’s 2023 Top100 Projects report.

Opening the ring road means new travel options for Calgarians, which will draw traffic away from heavily travelled and congested roads such as the Deerfoot Trail, 16th Avenue, Glenmore Trail and Sarcee Trail. For commercial carriers, the ring road provides an efficient bypass route, saving time and money for the delivery and shipment of goods and services.

“The ring road investment generated thousands of local jobs and will now play an integral role in keeping Calgarians and the economy moving. This important transportation link will ease congestion on city routes and greatly improve connectivity and access for businesses transporting goods,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

The ring road is a critical component to growing economic corridors in Alberta and Western Canada, as it connects the Trans-Canada Highway to the east and west, and the Queen Elizabeth II Highway and Highway 2 to the north and south. It is also part of the CANAMEX corridor, which connects Alberta to the highway network in the United States and Mexico.

“With one of the smoothest commutes in Canada and the capacity to reach 16 million customers by road within a single day, Calgary offers unmatched quality of life and economic opportunities. The triumphant completion of the Calgary Ring Road further improves our capacity to attract even more companies, capital and talent to our city,” said Brad Parry, president & CEO, Calgary Economic Development and CEO, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.

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Featured image: (Government of Alberta)

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