July 15, 2016

Construction begins on west campus lands

First phase of University District community includes new roads, sidewalks and parks

Phase 1 of construction on the new University District community is set to begin in July now that the major work of moving earth to prepare the land for building is complete.

Phase 1 of construction on the new University District community is set to begin in July.

West Campus Development Trust

The first phase of construction work on University District is scheduled to begin this month and continue until October 2016.

Since obtaining land-use designation from the City of Calgary in September of 2014, the West Campus Development Trust (WCDT) has been working to lay the foundations of the new community. Once completed, University District, situated between the university and Shaganappi Trail, will be a mixed-use, 200-acre community consisting of residential, office, retail and park spaces. 

With the stripping and grading work to prepare the land for building now complete, the focus of activity in the coming months will be on the development of new roads, parks and building sites at the north end of the new neighbourhood. Thirteen of the streets in the new community will bear the names of University of Calgary current and former chancellors to honour their community leadership and volunteerism during the university’s first 50 years.

As with any large-scale project, there will be many activities happening simultaneously in the area, including the presence of large equipment, trucks and workers. From July to October, the biggest impacts are expected to be partial road closures, route access for cyclists and pedestrians, and dust.

Strategy to manage impact

The site was recently seeded for grass to grow on exposed dirt in key areas to help minimize dust and erosion. Two new multi-modal pathways will be installed: one along University Blvd. (currently called West Campus Blvd.) between the Alberta Children’s Hospital and Foothills Hospital starting this summer and another along 39th St. N.W. in 2017. A route for bicycles is also planned to enhance connectivity and safety for cyclists.

Contractor Volker Stevin, together with the WCDT, will be employing a number of other strategies to manage the impact of construction at the site:

  • Regular street sweeping and watering
  • Designated access routes for construction vehicles
  • Erosion control measures such as silt fences and v-ditches to prevent soil from spreading beyond the construction area

Representatives from the WCDT hold and attend regular meetings to update stakeholders in the vicinity, including Alberta Health Services, Alberta Children’s Hospital and the South Shaganappi Area Planning Group.

Watch University District grow

Other community features — scheduled to take shape between July and October 2016 — include:

  • Construction of underground utilities, curbs and sidewalks
  • Preparing the land and connecting infrastructure at project sites for construction of townhomes/condominiums.
  • Adjustment to road widths and re-alignment in some areas of University Ave.
  • Tree planting
  • Preliminary construction of north stormwater pond and park
  • Construction of new Shaganappi Trail intersection into the community (work will affect parking lots 57/58)

Current Activities

The WCDT will publish bi-weekly updates with information about expected impacts of activity from week to week. Here’s what is planned for the next few weeks:

Start of Shaganappi Trail intersection upgrade

The upgrade to an all-turns at-grade intersection along Shaganappi Trail begins this week and is expected to cause traffic delays along Shaganappi Trail. Message boards have been posted since July 7 to notify travellers in the area. In conjunction with the upgrade, the northbound turn-off exit ramp into the community will be closed. Northbound travellers accustomed to using the exit ramp can use one of the alternative routes outlined in the construction map.

Infrastructure connections along 32nd Ave. NW

Crews will begin the work of connecting new infrastructure for Phase 1 construction in and around 32nd Ave. N.W. Partial lane closures with delays along 39th St. N.W. are expected for a couple of weeks starting July 25. Signage notifying travellers of delays will be posted this week.

Stay informed

The Trust maintains a 24-hour-hotline (1-855-400-5556) to respond to questions and concerns. Up-to-date construction information is also available online.

The independent West Campus Development Trust (WCDT) was created by the University of Calgary’s board of governors to lead the planning and development of the west campus lands, called University District. The WCDT is the first real estate development company of its kind in Alberta. It is building a master-planned community for the University of Calgary that will be sustainable and vibrant with homes, businesses, amenities and open space for Calgarians to enjoy — enhancing the university experience while harmonizing with surrounding communities. To learn more, visit the Trust website.