North route of Green Line edges closer to finalization

North route of Green Line edges closer to finalization

City officials says they're close to finalizing the route for the portion of Calgary's Green Line LRT that will run from the Bow River to McKnight Boulevard along Centre Street north.

Dozens of Calgarians turned out to a meeting Wednesday night to get a glimpse of the city's plans so far.

Some were concerned the Ninth Avenue N.W. station in Crescent Heights might have to be scrapped.

A city spokesperson says the underground station could cost around $250 million.

Last October, city council agreed in principle that the new LRT line should travel underneath the city centre, the Bow River and Crescent Heights — in a $2-billion tunnel from 10th Avenue S.W., under the river and emerging somewhere north of 16th Avenue north. 

Several residents who attended Wednesday's meeting said they are satisfied with the plans. 

Aleem Nanji, project manager for the north section of the Green Line, is looking for feedback on issues such as where pedestrians will be able to cross the street.

"We want to understand from the local community perspective whether we got those locations right," he said. "Does it make sense in the local community context? And just basically collect that feedback for some design refinement."

The Green Line will run un the length of Calgary from Coventry Hills in the north through to Seton in the deep southeast at an estimated cost of up to $6 billion. The city and the federal government have each committed $1.5 billion to build the line, while the province is still assessing the city's request for financing.

'It's going to bring lots of changes'

Barry Matthews owns a flower shop along the proposed train route on Centre Street.

"It's going to bring lots of changes," he said of the design. "And right now we are quite busy with walk-in... I hope it brings us more walk-in rather than our business going down. I'm hoping it works out. Change is always good so I hope something good comes out of this."

Looking at the big picture, Matthews says he welcomes the proposed new line.

"It's something modern, something new, something good," he said. "As long as we still have lots of parking, it will be just great."

The proposed final route for the north portion will be presented to council in June.

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