The last portion of the $1.4 billion southwest Calgary ring road is expected to open Saturday afternoon, after nearly four years of construction.
The southwest ring road is 31 kilometres of six- and eight-lane divided highway, stretching from Highway 8 to Macleod Trail Southeast.
Construction on the ring road started in 2017. The first 15-kilometre segment, between Glenmore Trail and 146 Avenue Southwest, opened last year. The final stretch will open to traffic Saturday afternoon, said Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart (Ward 13).
“This construction has been going on for many, many years,” Colley-Urquhart said, adding that it has caused a lot of noise for ward residents.
“This is a big, big day.”
Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi will mark the opening of the southwest ring road at 2 p.m., closing the road to public travel.
The Alberta government was in charge of construction. Part of the freeway is built on land the province acquired from the Tsuut’ina Nation.
Erin Guiltenane, a resident of southwest community Silverado, won’t miss the dust, changing closures and her roundabout commute to work at the University of Calgary.
“I’ve taken Macleod Trail, Anderson Road, 14th Street, Glenmore Trail and Crowchild Trail — all of which can get very, very congested,” she said. “I have high hopes that will change.”
The entire ring road was supposed to open in 2022, but has been delayed by two years.