VRCA Planning Committee Update: WCRR
New Roundabout at the Four-way Stop
We can now confirm that as part of the West Calgary Ring Road (WCRR) project, EllisDon, Alberta Transportation’s (AT’s) contractor, will remove the 4-way stop at the intersection of Valley Ridge Drive and Valley Ridge Boulevard. In its place, EllisDon will construct a roundabout. The VRCA’s Board supports this project as it will provide: (1) an effective means of handling the diversion of traffic bound for Crestmont and other destinations south of the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) during construction of the WCRR, and (2) a greatly improved community entry feature and community sign location post-construction. EllisDon continues to finalize the design, however Figure 1 provides a schematic of the new VR Blvd interchange and a conceptual view of the new roundabout at the 4-way stop. Our understanding is construction is to begin the fall of 2020. Our present roundabout is to be re-constructed closer to the fire station. During this process westbound traffic from the TCH heading south, for example to Crestmont, will temporarily need to use the new roundabout at the Valley Ridge Drive and Valley Ridge Blvd to U-turn and head south. Once completed the new re-located roundabout will again function to enable all traffic proceeding south via the new TCH underpass to Crestmont and other destinations thus ending the need to use the roundabout at the 4-way stop. The City of Calgary Transportation Department will be participating with EllisDon at an AT Information Session (timing to be determined) to present and introduce the new roundabout to community residents.
Fig. 1: Re-constructed VR Blvd interchange showing position and conceptual design for new roundabouts
Sound Attenuation Measures
On January 23, 2020, The Hon. Demetrios Nicolaides, MLA for Calgary-Bow and Minister for Advanced Education and the Planning Committee arranged a site visit in Valley Ridge with The Hon. Ric McIver, MLA for Calgary-Hays and Minister of Transportation. Also attending were Shane De Lorey, AT’s Project Director for the WCRR, and two VRCA board members, Grant Knowles and Michael McGee. The visit was held at the home of residents on Valley Meadow Close who back south onto the TCH. The purpose was to demonstrate to the Ministers the impact of the close proximity of construction activities on residents of Valley Ridge. Based on discussion, we understand the sound study will be complete by this spring and will be the driving factor to advancing construction of any sound barriers as early as this spring or summer. Further, Minister McIver stated that while AT “will continue to use provincial noise guidelines for the WCRR . . . if members of the community would like to work with the City of Calgary or other stakeholders to acquire noise attenuation at a higher level of service, AT would support these efforts.” The City’s noise guidelines are more stringent compared to AT’s. MLA Nicolaides is in the process of arranging a meeting with our Ward 1 Councillor, Ward Sutherland, and the VRCA sometime in March or April.
New, West Storm Management Pond
Some residents of Valley Pointe Way will be aware of a new storm management pond to be constructed by EllisDon’s contractors this spring or earlier, weather dependent. Figure 2 shows the location of the new pond immediately west of the existing, smaller storm management pond. This new pond is required to manage storm water run-off from the new and expanded TCH, once complete. We understand this project will involve a significant excavation. We will further advise and inform residents with additional details as they become available.
Fig. 2: New, West Storm Management Pond
The new pathway connection to Bowness Park below the Bow River Bridge Twinning project was opened on February 18. A set of stairs has been constructed to provide access to the Park during construction. We now understand that EllisDon’s contractor will be maintaining and clearing the stairs of snow during the remaining winter months. AT also received permission from the City of Calgary to construct a temporary haul road through the south perimeter of Bowness Park for the duration of construction on the new bridge.
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Submitted by: VRCA Planning Committee