One week ago, on May 26, 2014, the City of Edmonton was given a pledge of $150 million from the federal government towards the cost of Edmonton’s Southeast LRT expansion plan from Downtown Edmonton to Mill Woods.
The $150 million from Ottawa was matched by Premier Alison Redford’s (one of her final acts as premier) bringing the total to $300 million of the line’s proposed $1.8 billion budget. The rest will be funded by the city and taxpayers. One of the largest problems that has always plagued Edmonton has been inefficient and poor infrastructure. This is due to a combination of potholes from long freeze/thaw cycles from Edmonton’s weather, bottlenecked areas (Anthony Henday and Yellowhead highway as examples), and slow transit with outlying areas.
The plotted timeline for the Valley Line completion is by 2020, with construction beginning early 2016. While there is opposition to the LRT line with residents who live near the proposed line complaining of commute congestion and noise problems (and with good reason!), the fact of the matter is south Edmonton has been in dire need of a efficient mass transit alternative for quite some time. Vancouver’s Skytrain and Calgary’s LRT systems which built nearly 10 years after Edmonton’s, have aggressively expanded and improved their LRT systems in recent years while Edmonton has largely stagnated in this department.
The Valley line will link Edmonton’s Southeast and Southwest neighbourhoods to the downtown core, and will encompass a 13.1 Kilometre stretch of track. Theoretically, passengers taking the LRT from the farthest points of the train (Far east Millwoods or Lewis Farms in the west) should not have to endure more than 30 minutes of travel time. There will be 25 street level stops that comprise the Valley Line, with three of these stations having elevators and escalators (West Edmonton Mall, Davies and Misercordia Hospital).
For a clear graphical representation of the current, in progress, and proposed Edmonton LRT routes, refer to the graphics below. (courtesy of www.4lrt.com)
With Constructive Solutions’ thanks, the sources for this background blog on the Edmonton LRT system are from:
Constructive Solutions will continue to provide primers on new LRT lines as they are approved.