Extension of Calgary’s 61st Ave. S.E. to improve access for truckers and all motorists

CALGARY, Alta. – The City of Calgary celebrated the opening of the 61st Avenue S.E. extension June 23, which will give truckers a more direct route between transportation corridors and distribution centers in southeast Calgary.

There to mark the occasion was Gene Orlick, chairman of the Canadian Trucking Alliance and Alberta Motor Transport Association and owner of trucking company Orlicks Inc.

“We’re extremely pleased the City of Calgary has completed this connector project, as it provides an accessible east-west link for motorists and truckers alike,” said Orlick. “This effectively accomplishes the goal of reaching the major distribution centers and transportation corridors in southeast Calgary on a timely basis, and alleviates a great deal of congestion on Stoney Trail allowing motorists to move freely. The motor transport industry will certainly benefit from this new roadway.”

Also present was Calgary’s Ward 9 councilor Gian-Carlo Carra, who said the extension would mean better transportation for people, goods and services, and would energize growth in the area.

“I’m also excited that the project provides for pedestrian movement along 61 Avenue, including a regional pathway,” Carra said, “which will ultimately connect with Ralph Klein Park.”

“The project team made sure that the sensitive environmental elements were well protected, recognizing that the project would have some affect on local wetlands,” added Mac Logan, the city’s general manager of transportation. “Working with Alberta Environment and the city’s parks department, all mitigation strategies available were applied to minimize any impacts.”

The 61st Ave. S.E. extension is a two-lane road from the existing flyover at Stoney Trail to 68th Street S.E., a four-lane road from 68th Street S.E. to 57th Street S.E. with a new bridge over Forest Lawn Creek.

To celebrate the grand opening, one of Orlick’s trucks drove through a ribbon and was the first vehicle to drive on the new thoroughfare.

Construction of the extension began in May 2015 with a budget of $23.5 million.

An Orlicks Inc. truck drives through the ribbon at the 61st Ave. S.E. extension opening June 23, as Gene Orlick and Mac Logan look on.
An Orlicks Inc. truck drives through the ribbon at the 61st Ave. S.E. extension opening June 23, as Gene Orlick and Mac Logan look on.

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A university graduate with a degree in English, I have worked in the media and trucking industries as a writer, editor, and now as western bureau chief of Today's Trucking and TruckNews.com. I have several years of management experience in journalism, as well as hospitality, but am first and foremost a writer, both professionally and in my personal life, having completed two fiction novels.

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