The Alberta government plans to spend $70 million on construction to the Stoney Trail bridge over the Bow River in southeast Calgary to widen it and make it safer for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
Transportation Minister Ric McIver announced the plan on Friday, saying the government planned to replace the eastbound bridge, widen the westbound bridge and build a new, stand-alone pedestrian bridge.
The project will boost the number of lanes to four in each direction. Currently the eastbound crossing has two lanes, while the westbound has three.
Construction is expected to begin late this fall and take three years to complete.
Eastbound and westbound traffic will share the westbound bridge while the new eastbound bridge is constructed.
McIver said the decision was made to fully replace the eastbound bridge because it's past the point of repair, while the other is newer and can be rehabilitated.
"Investing in our highway network is one of the best ways to get our economy and Albertans moving again," McIver said.
McIver said the project is expected to create 350 jobs.
About 53,000 vehicles use the existing South Bow River Bridge daily, according to the province.
McIver said provincial engineers have determined that the current width and lane configuration will not be sufficient for the higher traffic volume that is anticipated once the southwest ring road is fully complete next year.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said a 50-vehicle pileup that injured nine people in February 2018 demonstrated that the section of roadway needs to be made safer.
"It will improve safety outcomes and efficiency for those driving in this area, while also factoring in a better pedestrian and cyclist route. These investments in Calgary are always good news," the mayor said.