Calgary's - The Green Line LRT project continues to move forward, with major negotiations and design work ongoing. As of now, $1 billion has been committed to the $5.5 billion project, which will connect Shepard in the southeast to Eau Claire with a tunnel under the downtown core. Completion is expected in late 2024.
Negotiations and Design:
- Negotiations with Bow Transit Connectors, the development partner, are currently underway to finalize the design and cost of the project within the established budget.
- The design process includes detailed plans for stations, public spaces, and infrastructure.
- Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra has expressed concerns about the station designs, particularly on the southeast leg. He believes they lack clarity and fail to fulfill the project's "city-shaping mandate."
- Carra also highlighted the need for comprehensive transit-oriented development around the stations, incorporating public plazas, commercial spaces, and residential areas connected by multi-use pathways.
Public Engagement and Transparency:
- The Green Line team maintains they are adhering to the initial vision and mandate, which involved extensive public consultation and feedback.
- However, Carra emphasizes the lack of public exposure to detailed designs. He believes that early access to such information would have fostered greater support and prevented criticism from figures like Jason Kenney.
- The Green Line team plans to release finalized and fully costed designs to the public once completed. They acknowledge the dynamic nature of the design process, which necessitates frequent modifications during negotiations.
City's Role and Future Development:
- Carra confirms that the city planning department is actively working on plans for future development near the Green Line stations.
- This development is crucial to realizing the full potential of the project and creating vibrant, transit-oriented communities.
Project Scope and Concerns:
- The Ad Hoc Citizens Committee to Rethink the Green Line has raised concerns about the project's escalating costs and the downtown tunnel.
- They propose a cheaper alternative, running the Green Line at surface level from downtown to Seton, arguing for increased ridership and lower construction costs.
- Green Line officials currently have no plans to change the project scope, but they acknowledge the possibility of future discussions with council.
1️⃣ Construction began in 2021 with utility relocation and preliminary work.
2️⃣ Major construction is expected to start in late 2024.
3️⃣ The project is divided into stages, with Stage 1 (Shepard to Eau Claire) expected to be completed by 2026
4️⃣ Negotiations are ongoing with Bow Transit Connectors, the development partner, to finalize the design and cost.
Source: Calgary Green Line LRT is the Calgary Green Line Project Documentation
Source: Calgary Green Line Economic Impact Assessment
Concerns and Challenges:
1️⃣ Escalating Costs: Some stakeholders are concerned about the rising costs of the project.
2️⃣ Downtown Tunnel: Concerns exist about the feasibility and cost of the tunnel under the downtown core.
3️⃣ Station Design: Some councillors and citizens have expressed concerns about the design of some stations.
4️⃣ Transit-Oriented Development: There is a need for comprehensive plans for transit-oriented development around the stations.
The Green Line project continues to move forward, with significant progress being made on design, negotiations, and early construction work. While concerns exist about specific aspects of the project, there is a strong commitment to delivering a high-quality transit system that will benefit Calgary residents for decades to come. Public engagement and transparency will remain crucial throughout the development and implementation process to ensure the project meets the needs of the community.
- City of Calgary - Green Line LRT: https://www.calgary.ca/green-line.html
2. Global News - $1B committed so far to Calgary’s Green Line amid negotiations with developer https://globalnews.ca/news/10147023/calgary-green-line-spending-to-date/
3. Calgary Herald - Green Line official defends project against criticism: https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/calgarys-green-line-lrt-combines-downtown-southeast-contracts-for-cost-certainty
4. CTV News - Calgary group calls for changes to Green Line LRT project: https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/city-in-limbo-as-provincial-pause-on-massive-green-line-lrt-project-continues-councillor-1.5338835
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