Edmonton's LRT Expansion, Part I

Together, the existing and proposed LRT lines will connect Edmonton on all sides, establishing a public transit system other cities will be envious of

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN


Edmonton's LRT system began operating in April 1978.
Construction began in 1974 and cost $65 million.
AS the city grows, so must our public transit system. That's just obvious. But even with that in mind, I'm still in awe of what City Council has in store for Edmonton when it comes to our low-floor, community-integrated LRT expansion plan

The long-term LRT Network Plan was initiated by the city in June 2009, spearheaded by our new Mayor (and then City Councillor) Don Iveson. Since then we've seen five brand new stations on the LRT line: Health Sciences/ Jubilee, McKernan/ Belgravia, South Campus/ Fort Edmonton Park, Southgate, and Century Park, all of which were completed by 2010. 

In addition to those and the pre-existing 10 stations (Clareview to University), there are three other LRT stations currently under construction, including stops at NAIT and the downtown branch of Grant MacEwan

Then there's the future Valley Line Corridor; a 27km, 25-stop stretch from Mill Woods Town Centre on the Southside to Lewis Farms on the West, and stops in between that includes Grey Nuns, Bonnie Doon, Muttart, 124th Street, and West Edmonton Mall

The Valley Line Corridor project will also include a pair of Park 'N' Ride locations, three Kiss 'N' Ride spots, and a half-dozen bridges. In other words, the city will be connected like never before, with the ability to get to virtually every section of Edmonton via the LRT. 

At a cost of approximately $3.2 billion, the Valley Line will be built in two stages, beginning with Mill Woods to 102 Street (13.1km). The second stage will connect 102 Street with Lewis Farms. Construction is expected to begin next year and continue into 2020. 

The Preliminary Design process for this project included discussions between all walks of Edmontonians (2011 to 2013), including business and property owners, residents, community volunteers, and non-profit organizations. These discussions included station placement, parking, platforms, pedestrian crossings, and even artwork and plantlife proposed for each station.

Together they came up with a plan to make Edmonton one of the best-connected metros on the continent, something we can all be proud of!

Below are some photos snapped at the Valley Line LRT presentation at City Hall on Thursday (Nov. 14).











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