The landmark transformation of the 17 Avenue SE corridor, Victoria Park/Stampede LRT Station, and the new BMO Centre expansion project has reached a new milestone in construction this week.
The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and its construction partners have completed work on temporary LRT platforms. This will allow for continued LRT access to Stampede Park as the old Victoria Park station is torn down.
That shift from the existing platform to the new temporary one is expected to happen over the Thanksgiving long weekend, starting on Oct. 6.
“The temporary outbound platform allows us the time to demo the existing station, and build the new station, which is going to be an at-grade access from the pedestrian realm,” said Kate Thompson, President and CEO of CMLC.
“Calgarians can expect this new outgoing platform to be open, and for them to be using it, for about a year before we open the full new station.”
Thompson said that they’re scheduling construction work over the long weekend to minimize the disruption to Calgarians.
“We are trying to make those delays or those inconveniences to riders as small as possible,” she said.
Working with stakeholders to make late 2023 scheduled opening
Thompson said that CMLC has continued to work with groups such at the Calgary Stampede, the Calgary Flames, and Calgary Transit to work around a highly complex set of different but interconnected construction projects.
“We have so many stakeholders in the area, obviously Calgary Stampede and Calgary Transit, but also there’s other events happening,” she said.
“There’ll be a Flames game at the at the dome during the long weekend, so we’re highly aware of all of the moving parts, and everyone is in the loop and understands it.”
The upcoming closure of the platform follows previous shutdowns earlier this year during long weekends. The demolition of the loop-ramp and +15 connector to the station and replacement with direct pedestrian access over Macleod Trail occurred in 2021. This year saw the completion of the transit utility complex, Elbow River siding track bridge, and the installation of 9.5 km of duct in the transit right-of-way.
The new Victoria Park/Stampede Station is expected to be opened in late 2023 for transit riders, with the 17 Avenue SE extension and BMO Centre expansion completing in 2024. Thompson said that construction is on schedule for those dates.
“The new station and extension of 17 Ave will create an important connection between Stampede Park and Calgary’s Beltline and Downtown communities, making it easier for our community to gather,” said Jim Laurendeau, vice president of Park Planning and Development for the Calgary Stampede.
“We are excited for how this new connector will help create a key gateway to Stampede Park, enhance the way people experience our iconic space, and how they’ll access events, conferences and gatherings at BMO Centre, GMC Stadium, the Saddledome, and more.”
Long weekend shutdown schedule
The Macleod Trail and 17 Avenue SE pedestrian crossing will be closed over the long weekend. Pedestrians will be able to access the Victoria Park/Stampede Station and Stampede Park using the 14 Avenue SE crossing.
Starting on Oct. 7, cyclists will be directed to use detours on 12 Avenue SE, or 25 Avenue SE to access the park or the Saddledome.
Northbound Macleod Trail will have lane closures between the Elbow River Bridge and 12 Avenue SE, starting on Oct. 6. These will be lifted on Oct. 11 at 5 a.m. CMLC said that they expect that there will be traffic delays, and are suggesting drivers use alternative routes.
Calgary Transit is also shutting down a number of CTrain stations over the long weekend for routine maintenance. The Red Line stations between City Hall and 39 Avenue will be closed on Oct. 7 starting at 2 a.m. until Oct. 8 at 2 a.m.
Additional service disruptions will be happening on the Red and Blue Lines Oct. 8 through 11.
For more details on transit distruptions, see www.calgarytransit.com/content/transit/en/home/service-updates/ctrain-service.html.