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Calgary projects approved for $152.8M in provincial cash

Infrastructure projects submitted by Calgary will get the full funding from the Alberta government, as $152.8 million in cash was confirmed.

The announcement was made in a virtual conference Friday morning, and will target seven primary areas. Calgary had to submit a list of projects to tap the $152 million in COVID-19 infrastructure funding promised back in September.

“This is a big deal. It’s a big number,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

He said it is money that’s both already been used and will be used in the coming months to get Calgarians back to work.

“We were ready to go with a very carefully considered list of shovel-worthy and shovel-ready infrastructure projects back in the early fall, and I was thrilled that the provincial government approved all of them,” Mayor Nenshi said.

Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard said the projects will help create 900 jobs for the local economy.

“I personally feel the most compassionate thing we can do right now is create jobs for Albertans and that’s what this program is doing,” Minister Allard said.

Details on upcoming projects

Mayor Nenshi spoke in greater detail about some of the work that will be done.

He said, for him, the most significant is the cash for affordable housing. Repairs, upgrades and new builds will get a $15 million cash injection.

“I admit too many of our units and too many of our complexes are just, well, they’re not fit for dignified human habitation,” he said.

This cash will allow them to make much-needed repairs so many of these homes don’t get taken off the market.

City-wide, 260 units will be renovated in 23 buildings, Mayor Nenshi said.

Also getting a fair chunk of the funding are Calgary’s cultural buildings. Roughly $25 million is going to the upgrade of the Glenbow Museum, the Jack Singer Concert Hall and the Northwest Travellers Building.

Critical road upgrades will get $31 million. This is address upgrades to road and pedestrian bridges, the mayor said.

Calgary’s longest street, 52 Street SE, will get $13 million to complete work for the next MAX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line.

Another $9 million is going to Heritage Park, Telus Spark, Fort Calgary, the Calgary Zoo and others. Calgary Parks will also see $28 million for improvements.

Mayor Nenshi said that much of this is already underway and other projects will start as soon as possible.