Calling it an important step to move forward on the southwest ring road, the City of Calgary and Alberta government have signed a memorandum for the route.

The planning study will take until December 2011 to complete, according to the government, but is an integral part of the planning process and will examine potential routes, connection points and environmental issues, among other things.

“The planning study will look at an effective solution to address the immediate traffic issues for Calgary residents and enhance connections to the provincial highway network,” Alberta transportation minister Luke Ouellette said of the mandatory study.

Mayor Dave Bronconnier applauded the study and said the city will still begin construction on the interchange at 37th St. SW in spring of 2010.

“City council is taking decisive action to address our mobility needs in southwest Calgary,” he said, adding the city will continue to work with the province. “Today’s announcement is a major step forward.”

The signed memorandum sets out each party’s roles and responsibilities during the study phase and outlines items for future discussion and negotiation.

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