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'A long time overdue': Final recommendations to improve Deerfoot Trail released

Last Updated Jan 12, 2021 at 7:59 pm MST

(PHOTO: Tom Ross - 660 NEWS)

The province and city started a study on Deerfoot Trail in 2016

The recommended changes will be spread out over the next 30 years

$210 million has already been set aside for Deerfoot Trail by the UCP government

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – About 30 years of work is expected for Deerfoot Trail as new recommendations have been released.

The City of Calgary and Alberta Transportation have spent years putting together a report on the shortfalls of Deerfoot Trail.

Final recommendations have now been made to try and ease congestion on the busy roadway.

“I think it’s a long time overdue,” said Transportation Minister Ric McIver. “I certainly hear that in my office. Many, many phone calls, emails and other complaints about how the Deerfoot needs to be improved.”

The study assessed 35 kilometres of freeway and 18 interchanges and called for several recommendations including a carpool lane in both directions between Barlow Trail and Airport Trail.

Other proposed changes include putting multi-use pathways in some areas to provide better pedestrian and cyclist connections.

RELATED: Designing Deerfoot trail.

The recommendations are being spread out for a period of roughly thirty years but McIver said some construction will be prioritized in the first ten.

“People have waited way too long to get to work or home from work for way too many years. The sooner we can provide relief for people, the better.”

In March 2019 the former NDP government announced over $470 million dollars in funding to improve parts of Deerfoot Trail including a stretch of road between Beddington Trail and Bow Bottom Trail.

Several interchanges such as Glenmore Trail, Southland Drive and Memorial Drive were also due to be upgraded.

The province’s study on improving Deerfoot Trail started in 2016 and a report was scheduled to be released last October but that announcement was cancelled at the last minute.

Now the study is finished, McIver said he’s looking forward to getting started on improving Calgary’s busiest roadway.

“I join all other Calgarians and all other Albertans who use Deerfoot Trail in recognizing that it needs to be fixed,” added McIver. “I look forward to being part of that good news story and look forward to bringing together the results of this report with the upcoming budget dollars and getting to work.”

About $210 million has been allocated for Deerfoot Trail as part of the province’s 2020 capital plan.