A Calgary alderman has developed a proposal that could save at least $90 million on future plans for the Calgary International Airport underground tunnel.

Ward 3 Ald. Jim Stevenson said building a segmented tunnel in phases would cost $104 million, which is much less than estimated costs ballooning towards $198 million.

“We have to do this in stages. We don’t need the overpasses for at least 10 years. On day one we just need the tunnel. We don’t need everything built on day one,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said the new estimations from city administration will help get the ball rolling for the rest of the phases which include public consultation, and seeking federal and provincial funding.

Naheed Nenshi, of the Better Calgary Coalition, said he is pleased to hear of the progress made for what he calls the “single most important piece of road infrastructure” in the city. “We need to build the tunnel, no matter how much it costs, so I am thrilled to hear he found a way to bring the costs down,” Nenshi said.

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