Jasper Avenue Under Construction

A year seems like a long time to wait until construction has been completed on downtown's Jasper strip, but there's no doubting it'll be worth the wait

BY JULIA HORN

A shot of the current state of Edmonton's Jasper Ave.
construction zone. Photo by Julia Horn. 
PEOPLE say there are only two seasons in Edmonton: winter (which is a big deal indeed) and construction. And since winter has obviously begun, I am probably not the only person who is wondering why Jasper Avenue still looks like a confusing mix of sand, concrete, and many, many fences.

Crossing the street happens to be a dangerous act, since the traffic lights are unreachable, due to the--surprise, surprise--fences. That makes people walk across the street randomly, and if there's a car coming, just run for it. That sounds almost like the main street in Mumbai, where you just start crossing and pray to Lord that cars manage to dodge you. But of course, in Edmonton, it's not as bad.

The construction began in May 2012 on the north side of Jasper Avenue. The Central LRT station is being renewed and the roadway between 100th and 102nd Streets will be totally reconstructed. The sidewalk is built wider (6m) and therefore becomes more pedestrian-friendly.
That sounds all really good except for the fact that the project is scheduled to be completed by November 2013. One more year, but we all know that it's most likely going to take even longer. Construction projects are never finished when they are supposed to be. Anyone who has ever built or renovated a house can confirm that.

Unpredictable issues always extend the time needed. You can't really call snow in Edmonton unpredictable, not at all actually, but this amount of snow that early is unusual.  And that is, of course, going to affect the construction project. Pits filled with snow and frozen materials can be pretty annoying, but don't get upset about our weather, because it can always be worse.

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