Costs have come down when it comes to the expansion and improvements of Airport Trail.
The City of Calgary’s transportation committee said Wednesday an updated plan puts the cost at $115 million, compared to $227-million in a 2012 study.
The committee said the lower price tag is partly because the city needed to buy only 10.4 hectares of private land for the expansion, instead of the previous 14.8 hectares.
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No date has been set for the next phase of construction on Airport Trail, but it would include the construction of interchanges at 19 Street N.E. and Barlow Trail, as well as a flyover ramp.
The city will increase its savings by building just one ramp instead of three. The committee said Wednesday that should accommodate traffic levels into the late 2030’s.
Greg Yates, manager of planning for the Calgary Airport Authority, added that they are looking at a possible LRT connection to the airport as part of the planning process.
“When the city constructs the LRT along Airport Trail, the widening of Airport Trail will also be required at that time,” he explained.
“The LRT would mostly be running at-grade in the medium of Airport Trail, going over lanes of eastbound Airport Trail then connecting to the airport terminal.”
The Calgary Airport Authority will pay 50 per cent of the land acquisition costs, as well as $20 million for the construction of the 19 Street and Barlow Trail interchanges. As part of its deal with the city, the airport authority demanded the interchanges be in place before free-flow traffic was allowed.