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A number of locations were considered for the Mechanized River Valley Access project. The locations were evaluated against a number of factors including slope stability, environmental considerations, construction costs, urban integration and design, and public use.

View of the Mechanized River Valley Access projectOn June 23, 2015, City Council approved the construction of the project connecting 100 Street near the Hotel Macdonald and the river valley trail system near the Low Level Bridge.

Construction Update - June 2017

Completed Work

  • The funicular has been installed and tested. Glass for the funicular canopy has also been installed at the promontory.
  • Electrical work, including conduits for the urban stair and promontory, are complete.
  • Precast concrete work is complete.
  • Pilings have been installed to support the art bases near the promenade.
  • Earthworks, including landscaping along urban stair.

Ongoing Work/Upcoming Work

  • Installation of light fixtures and glazing guards (glass railings) along the urban stair 
  • Connecting the funicular to the City of Edmonton's network 
  • Completing bridge work: railings and Kebony wood finishes
  • Installation and commissioning of the elevator
  • Installation of project art

Construction Update - March 2017

Trail Addition

A new 1.8m wide, 53m long trail link will be added to the project from the Low Level Bridge to the shared-use path near the pedestrian bridge. This trail link will run parallel to the Grierson Hill Road sidewalk and the shared-use trail that runs under the Low Level Bridge.

The trail link will provide a connection between the Low Level Bridge and River Valley trails east of the MRVA project. The additional work fits within the existing project budget.

Construction Update - March 2017

New Trail Connection Map

Completed Work

  • Full wayfinding design package is complete
  • Funicular has been installed
  • Trail connection to the existing stair, mid-landing, has been paved

Ongoing/Upcoming Work

  • Ongoing funicular work on the emergency stairs, the storage garage, call buttons, and connecting the funicular to the City’s network
  • Steel for the stair, elevator and upper platform will begin in March
  • River Valley parks will be upgrading the existing lower wooden stair this spring

2016 Year in Review

Learn about how the Mechanized River Valley Access project transformed the river valley in 2016 in our project yearbook, with photos, timelines, and more!

2016 Yearbook

Construction Update - November 2016

The funicular cab has arrived from Switzerland and can now be seen moving slowly up and down the hill as crews install and adjust the controls and cable system. The cab will be unveiled and fully operational when the project opens to the public in late 2017.

Project Update - November 2016

Completed Work

  • Concrete foundations for the funicular machine room, lower trail elevator, and upper promontory floor slab
  • Installation of the rail system for the funicular
  • Fabrication of the funicular cab
  • Installation of pedestrian bridge across Grierson Hill Road

Ongoing/Upcoming Work

  • Installation/bracing of stair stringers--the main structural supports--for the urban staircase
  • Installation of funicular canopies and urban stair railings
  • Elevator final shop drawing under review
  • Installation of funicular controls and cabling
  • Final stair tread wood product in transit to site

Construction Update - October 2016

  • Concrete pours for the upper promontory walls and slabs, as well as the lower elevator foundations and walls
  • Installation of funicular supports and rails
  • Backfilling around urban stair and funicular foundations
  • Beginning fabrication of funicular cab
  • Installation of pedestrian bridge across Grierson Hill Road
  • Complete installation and bracing of stair stringers, the main structural supports, for the urban staircase
  • Installation of funicular canopies and urban stair railings

Project Update - October 2016

Construction Update - August 2016

  • In July/August, crews began pouring concrete for the upper promontory walls and slabs, as well as the lower elevator foundations and walls.
  • Crews began installing the funicular supports and rails and backfilled around the foundations.
  • Fabrication on the funicular cab began off site.
  • In September crews will continue installing the funicular rails and structural steel for the urban stair and install the emergency stairs for the funicular.

Mechanized River Valley Access Update - August 2016

Construction Update - July 2016

  • In June the concrete foundations and walls for the funicular machine room were poured and workers completed most of the concrete pile caps for the urban stair.
  • In June/July, work has included the foundation for the elevator at the lower end of the trail and the concrete slab for the promontory.
  • In July/August, crews will install the structural steel for the urban stair and the rail system for the funicular.

Mechanized River Valley Access Update - July 2016

Public Engagement

April 8, 2015

The City held an open house and had a follow-up online survey. The comments were used to help inform and guide the design of the project.

The public engagement results indicated citizen support for the Mechanized River Valley Access initiative and excitement about the prospect of this unique addition to the river valley amenities. Feedback indicated that a funicular would help increase access to the river valley for people of all abilities as well as cyclists, parents with strollers, and others who are unable to use the staircase.

A number of concerns were also identified, including the cost of the project, safety concerns, and a desire to preserve the natural look of the river valley.

The feedback received is summarized in the Mechanized River Valley Access public engagement report.

View the display boards and the comment form.

For More Information

Michael Schneider

Title Program Manager
Email michael.schneider@edmonton.ca

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