After a halt in construction due to bridge deck “deficiencies”, the 96 Avenue NE extension to the west of the Calgary International Airport opened Aug. 7.

The extension is a key, east/west transportation corridor in the city providing access from north central Calgary to Deerfoot Trail through to Airport Trail. Commuters and transit users will be happy to hear of the opening as the extension allows the transit route 300 to use 96 Avenue NE to access the airport and connect with downtown.

“The opening of the 96 Avenue NE extension is good news for residents in north-central Calgary who now have another way to access Deerfoot Trail,” said Travis Gaede, senior transportation engineer with the City’s Transportation department. “This new connection also provides area residents with a significantly shorter trip to the airport.”

Work was halted in 2012 after project quality assurance investigations found evidence of deficiencies on all of the bridge decks under construction at the time. Further investigation revealed three of the bridge decks could be made operational with deck finishing work outlined in the construction contract, tasks completed this summer.

Additional repair work is required on the westbound bridge deck over Nose Creek to ensure the deck meets the City’s construction and durability requirements.

The six-lane roadway is operational between Harvest Hills Boulevard and Deerfoot Trail except for the aforementioned section that goes over Nose Creek and the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway tracks. At that point, vehicles are using an interim twoway traffic lane set-up along the three southerly lanes until remedial work is completed on the westbound bridge deck over Nose Creek.

The project also includes construction of a six-lane extension of 96 Avenue NE from Harvest Hills Link east to Deerfoot Trail, construction of four bridge structures over the CP Railway tracks and Nose Creek and improvements to the Airport Trail and Deerfoot Trail interchange to allow for traffic movement in all directions.

Other elements of the project include the construction of a regional pathway from the Harvest Hills community east and across Deerfoot Trail, construction of a noise barrier on the north side of 96 Avenue NE from Harvest Gold Manor to Sixth Street NE and construction of a storm water connection from 96 Avenue NE to the Aurora Business Park wetland.

The entirety of the roadway (both eastbound and westbound lanes) will open once the remedial work on the fourth bridge deck has been completed, the date of which the City says will be later this year or early 2013.