City, Airport Authority Finalize Agreement

June 17, 2011   |  

For immediate release

June 17, 2011  

CALGARY - The City of Calgary and the Calgary Airport Authority (YYC) have finalized a lease agreement that will see work start on the Airport Trail tunnel by the end of the month.

The City and the Authority signed the agreement Thursday, June 16. The agreement sets out the terms and conditions for The City to integrate the tunnel project into the Airport Development Program in order to extend Airport Trail from Barlow Trail to 36 Street NE under the new airport runway and provide an east-west connector and future LRT right of way for commuters and travelers.

“I am very pleased that we have concluded the legal agreement on this piece of important infrastructure,” said Mayor Nenshi. “This project preserves a critical road and transit corridor for all Calgarians.”
”We are pleased that we have an agreement in place with The City that will allow for the completion of their tunnel project in conjunction with the Airport Development Program (ADP) at YYC. The APD will allow for the continued economic growth and prosperity of our airport community business partners, the City of Calgary and Province of Alberta,” said Garth Atkinson, President and CEO of The Calgary Airport Authority. “We are excited to move forward with The City as we continue to develop the airport to meet the needs of our stakeholders and as they develop their transportation network to meet the needs of Calgarians.”

The Airport Trail tunnel project will be constructed in three stages with the cost of stage one already approved by Council. Stage one consists of:

  • construction of the tunnel under the new runway;
  • widening Airport Trail between Deerfoot Trail and Barlow Trail to six lanes; and
  • extending Airport Trail through the tunnel to 36th Street NE

The estimated cost of stage one is $280 million which is within the $294.8 million funding envelope approved by Council in February. The Airport Authority will contribute approximately 60 acres of land, valued at an estimated $50 million, for the Airport Trail extension and future interchanges, at no cost to the City of Calgary.

The additional stages of the project will be addressed as funding sources are identified and secured and subject to Council approval of the necessary budgets.

  •  Stage 2 will include the construction of interchanges along Airport Trail at Barlow Trail and 19 Street NE and include extending Airport Trail to Metis Trail. The City will contribute $50 million and YYC will contribute $20 million to the cost of the stage two interchanges.
  •  Stage 3 will have The City and YYC share the cost on the construction of upgraded interchanges to provide access and egress from Airport Trail to the airport when warranted by traffic levels.

These upgrades are not anticipated to be required for another 20 - 30 years. This is an additional cost to The City of an estimated $66 million in 2011 dollars and will be shared 50/50 by The City and YYC.

The tunnel is an essential part of the northeast road network and another good connection to the airport and the rest of the city that will move people, goods and services, locally, regionally, and globally.

As well, the tunnel is the most viable way to provide future LRT to the airport terminal from the northeast LRT line.

The City and the Authority had been in discussions for several months to reach an agreement on the construction of the tunnel on land YYC leases from the federal government.

Visuals of the northeast area transportation network are available on The City of Calgary’s website.

Construction of the tunnel will start in the next few weeks and be open to traffic in conjunction with completion of the new runway in 2014.


Vickie Megrath
Department Communication Leader, Transportation
The City of Calgary
Phone: 403-828-2954
Jody Moseley
Director, Corporate Communications & Marketing
The Calgary Airport Authority
Phone: 403-807-9143