The Calgary Ring Road (CRR), also known as the Stoney Trail, has been a somewhat contentious issue with Albertans for several decades. A joint project between the Province of Alberta's Ministry of Transportation and the City of Calgary, the CRR is a system of roadways within the city limits of Calgary that provides road users with a network of free-flowing roads stretching for more than 100 km.
The plan for the CRR was originally conceived in the late 1970s to help transport heavy goods and services along Alberta's highways, lessening traffic congestion by diverting cars to it. It was also meant to better connect communities to workplaces and commercial or recreational areas, shortening travel time within areas inside and outside of Calgary. At present, the CRR remains 70% completed, with the southwest portion awaiting construction.
Ring Road: HWY 1 to 69 Street
Ring Road: 69 Street To Anderson
The SW Ring Road
The SW Calgary Ring Road, also commonly known as the Sarcee Trail Extension, is planned to extend approximately 16 km from 69 St. SW to Macleod Trail (Highway 2A). This runs through communities in the southwestern region of the city, including Signal Hill, Glamorgan, Rutland Park, Lakeview, and others.
With 31 kilometres to go, the final section of the CRR will include an 8-lane divided freeway, 66 bridges, 20 interchanges, 2 underpasses and a number of river crossings. There is currently traffic study and design planning underway until the end of 2015, with commencement of construction aimed at mid-2016, and finally completion of the southwest portion and therefore the entire Calgary Ring Road projected for 2020.
Understanding The CRR & Ring Road History
During the 1980s and 1990s, the Province of Alberta purchased most of the land required to establish the Calgary Ring Road, as part of the Transportation Utility Corridor (TUC). Like any large scale civil project, the plans were met with opposition, specifically concerning the impact construction would have on the environment and wildlife on Tsuu T'ina Nation land. Over the years, established communities in adjacent areas have also voiced concern about construction being so close to their properties, as well as current ongoing traffic in open sections of the CRR possibly being affected. It wasn't until November 2013 that a historic land transfer agreement was signed between the Tsuu T'ina Nation and the Province of Alberta. The transfer of land will be mediated by the Federal Government, allowing for the future completion of the CRR within seven years.
For more information and updates, try visiting the Alberta Ministry of Transportation website's F.A.Q.