4th Avenue flyover closing this weekend ahead of 1.5 years of lane restrictions

Starting April 5th, Calgary’s longest bridge structure, the 4th Avenue Flyover is undergoing maintenance for almost 18 months. Henna Saeed finds out the impact on downtown traffic and some alternate routes.

A major traffic artery into downtown Calgary will be shutting down for construction this weekend ahead of more than a year of planned lane restrictions.

The $12.5 million rehabilitation project on the 4th Avenue flyover underwent site preparations in March ahead of construction next week — the project is not expected to be completed until the late fall of 2025.

In order for crews to setup for the work, both lanes of the bridge will close at 9 p.m. on Friday, Apr. 5, and are expected to remain closed until Monday, Apr. 8 at 5 a.m.

Stage 1 of construction begins Monday, and one lane of the flyover will be down to a single lane for the remainder of the project.

“Throughout construction, there may be lane closures of underpass roads for overhead work,” says the City of Calgary. “These closures will be temporary and during off-peak hours.”

Off-peak single lane closures of the bridge started on Tuesday, until the full closure of the bridge on Friday evening.

Max Lacroix is the senior structural engineer on the rehabilitation project and says the project could wrap up earlier than expected if crews don’t run into unexpected challenges, like bad weather.

“Obviously it’s something that we cannot control,” he says. “We have a lot of mitigations and contingencies if events like this happen, because at the end of the day we don’t want to extend, we don’t want to make it longer.”

The project will rebuild the existing concrete barriers, add lighting, and replace concrete paving and expansion joints on the bridge that spans 430-metres over the Bow River.

The work will aim to extend the life of the bridge by approximately 35 years.

Traffic headache for downtown commuters

Motorists who typically use the flyover to get into the core may want to look for alternate routes in the face of 18 months of lane restrictions.

Lacroix says he can’t recommend a specific detour for commuters in the face of the lane restrictions, but drivers have options.

“Obviously reconciliation is just beside that for that new flyover, so that could be the kind of the easy go to one,” he says. “You know if you want to push a bit further on Memorial, you have the lower Center Street Bridge, that could be another option.”

The city says both lanes of the flyover will be open for the duration of the Calgary Stampede.

“We have coordinated the project schedule to minimize impacts to Calgarians and visitors as much as possible,” the city says.

Listen to CityNews 660 for traffic updates every 10 minutes.

With files from Henna Saeed

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