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In Calgary, the construction site for the wrought-iron door has taken on a new life as it’s become the focal point of a long-running debate over the future of Canada’s historic and architectural heritage.
The debate has been a part of the city’s public debate for the last decade, when it was first brought to light in 2007, but it has taken a new turn in recent years as the city was forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to repair its crumbling and decaying streets.
The project has been in limbo for years.
In 2014, the province of Alberta announced a $25-million upgrade of the road’s foundation and other work.
In 2016, a decision was made to stop the work and reopen the road for another two years.
But a year later, the road was still shuttered after it became a public health emergency.
“I’ve been involved with this project for 15 years, and it has always been a work in progress,” said Kevin MacDonald, a construction worker who lives in the area.
“We have the foundation, but we haven’t completed the work to get it right.”
MacDonald said he and his co-workers were concerned about the road being closed because the city doesn’t have a contractor ready to finish it.
“If they don’t get it done, then it’s not going to be a road anymore,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald, who is a member of the local chapter of the Construction, Forestry and Engineering Association, said the project’s closure was part of a wider effort to restore the city to its former glory.
“There’s been a lot of discussion and a lot in-depth discussion with the people who have the power to move it forward, because it’s such an important piece of infrastructure in the city,” MacDonald told CBC News.
“It’s the cornerstone of the infrastructure in Calgary.”
The city has spent $100 million over the past four years to renovate the street and street level areas around the road.
However, there’s still a lot that needs to be done, said MacDonald.
The road’s cornerstone, the concrete foundation, is also a work-in-progress.
“The foundation needs to stay intact for safety reasons, for people to be able to walk on the street, for the construction materials to stay in place,” he said.
“And so on.
So, the foundation needs work.”
The project started with a meeting in the early 2000s and was given the green light in 2010.
The province had previously said it was willing to spend $20 million for the road, but the project was stopped in 2017 after the province announced it would spend an additional $10 million to complete the work.
The provincial government then took over the project in 2017, but when the provincial government closed down the work, the work was reopened in 2018.
“This was an urgent need, because the road had to be completed in order for people living in the neighbourhood to be safe,” MacDonald explained.
“They would be able access their homes.”
The work to complete work in the road area is currently ongoing, but construction work in that area is scheduled to start in 2019.
The restoration work is expected to cost about $60 million.
“For the people of the neighbourhood that have the right of way, it’s very important that we do all the work in order to get the road open,” MacDonald added.
“Because the road has to be open for everyone to be safely able to access their home.”
The restored road is expected by 2021 to be fully operational.
MacDonald said the work has been ongoing for years and that he and others have been pushing for the work ever since.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure that the road is restored as it was before the provincial closure,” he explained.
The city was unable to comment on the work being delayed because of the construction project.
“Our priority has always and will always be the safety of our people, the safety and security of our community,” said a statement from Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
“As soon as we receive the update that the province is saying they’re going to finish the work by 2021, we will take a step back and make sure we can have the road reopened.”
The province’s response to the work The province responded to the situation with a letter from Minister of State for the Economy and Infrastructure David Swann that said, “The Province of Alberta has been working diligently to restore and secure the road to its original condition and we continue to have a strong relationship with the City of Calgary.”
It added that it is committed to making repairs to the road that will help ensure that people can continue to enjoy their neighbourhoods and neighbourhoods can continue their activities and activities in Calgary.
“Once the work is completed, it will allow the City to begin the process of relocating residents from their homes in the affected area,” the statement said.
The construction project began in 2009 and began with the construction and installation of concrete foundations on the north and south sides of the roadway