Historic tentative agreement with First Nation for Calgary ring road
A tentative agreement between the Government of Alberta and the Tsuu T'ina First Nation was reached last week to enable the last segment of a 100-kilometre ring road around Calgary to be completed.
A tentative agreement between the Government of Alberta and the Tsuu T’ina First Nation was reached last week to enable the last segment of a 100-kilometre ring road around Calgary to be completed.
The historic agreement involves the Tsuu T’ina swapping reserve land in the southwest of Calgary for Crown land. The First Nation voted in favour of the deal, which will see them sell 482 hectares of reserve land to the province and in exchange Alberta will transfer 2,030 hectares of Crown land to the First Nation.
In announcing the agreement in principle, Ric McIver, the Alberta Transportation Minister said: “Everyone has come together as neighbours, as friends and as partners. I extend my personal thank you to Chief Whitney and all members of the Tsuu T’ina First Nation. Both parties worked hard and in good faith throughout this round of negotiations. We believe we have a fair deal for the Nation, for Calgary’s residents and for Alberta taxpayers.”
Under the terms of the tentative agreement, the province will also provide $341 million in financial aid to the Tsuu T’ina to cover the impacts of the transfer on the reserve. Also, the Tsuu T’ina will have the right to purchase an additional 130 hectares of crown land from the province for $1.6 million.
Negotiations will continue between the government and First Nation over the next four weeks, but once the agreement is finalized it would allow for the eventual construction of the SW portion of the ring road. This will complete the circle of a roadway that allows traffic to move smoothly around the fringes of Calgary.
Planning for the ring road began in the 1970s when the government started to appropriate land. The northern half was completed in 2009 and the SE segment, between 17th Avenue SE to Macleod Trail is due to open within weeks. These three sections are known as the Stoney Trail, but the Tsui T’ina want the SW portion in their area to be named differently.
The SE segment of Stoney Trail that opens soon is being done as a P3 contract worth $769 million (2010 dollars) by Chinook Roads Partnership, which has a 30 year contract to maintain the road. SNC-Lavalin and Acciona S.A. constitute the partnership.
The SE segment of Stoney Creek is the largest single highway project in Alberta’s history. Construction includes 25 kilometres of six lane roadway and nine interchanges, including at Glenmore Trail SE, Highway 22X and Deerfoot Trail SE. There are also three bridges, two over railway lines and one over 61st Avenue SE. Focus Corporation provided functional planning design services for the interchanges between the Stoney Trail and Crowchild Trail Systems.