West LRT line will be complete by early 2013

By Michael Grondin

Many areas of the city will have easier access to transit because the West LRT development is running smoothly.

Students who live in Calgary’s far west can expect the West LRT, the brand new transit line that extends all the way up 17th Avenue to 69th Street S.W., to be up and running by early 2013.

According to West LRT communications strategist Melanie MacKenzie, the development and construction for the project is on schedule.

The line will have six new stops, including Calgary’s first underground and overhead stations. The line will go straight through downtown and up to the brand new station being built in the far N.E.

“The track has been laid down right to the end, and the overhead wiring has been placed,” said MacKenzie. “Right now we’re saying early 2013. We do not have a definitive date yet because there is still a lot of work to do.”

Testing began in May and will continue periodically. Construction is planned to be complete by October, when Calgary Transit will begin training operators.

“We’re just finishing up construction, but we need to keep testing the track to make sure it runs smoothly and efficiently. We just need to make sure that everything works properly and everything is safe,” said MacKenzie. “It’s a completely new line, there’s a lot of training that needs to be done. You don’t know what the track is going to be like from an operators perspective until you’re in the train and you can see what the sightlines are.”

There will also be 24 revised bus routes, which will make travelling across the city easier.

If all goes according to plan, the project can be completed by December 2012.

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