EPCOR crews are completing a number of utility relocation projects along the Valley Line West LRT route. Learn more about these projects by visiting EPCOR.
April 2021: Check out the latest project update from EPCOR.
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Marigold Infrastructure Partners started construction for Valley Line West in 2021. It will take 5 to 6 years to complete.
It’s the second stage of the Valley Line, an urban-style 27 km line that will operate between Mill Woods in southeast Edmonton and Lewis Farms in west Edmonton.
Marigold Infrastructure Partners Current and Upcoming Construction.
Crews will continue in 2021 to remove vacant buildings on City-owned properties along the Valley Line West route to make way for future construction and LRT infrastructure. No sidewalk or road closures are expected. Properties will be contained with fencing and crews will use excavators and other machinery along with large bins to remove debris and materials as work progresses.
The City is temporarily relocating West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre on 87 Avenue while the Valley Line West LRT is under construction. Starting on August 29, West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre(on 90 Avenue north of the mall, beside West Edmonton Mall Inn) for 5-6 years.
This location will ensure that transit riders continue to receive transit service to and from the surrounding communities and West Edmonton Mall. All bus routes accessing the current transit centre will move to the temporary transit centre.
Construction for the temporary transit centre began in May 2021 and finished earlier this summer.
For more information about changes to ETS bus service, visit edmonton.ca/TransitAlerts.
Watch our virtual information session.
The project entered into procurement on January 7, 2020. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) closed on February 24, 2020. On March 13, 2020 the City shortlisted 3 teams to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase of procurement.
The City has selected Marigold Infrastructure Partners as the preferred proponent to design, build and partially finance the $2.6 billion Valley Line West LRT.
Please read our news release and the industry bulletin for more details. The Fairness Report outlines how we ensured the procurement competition for the Valley Line West LRT was transparent, fair and equitable.
On December 23, 2020, the City reached financial close with Marigold Infrastructure Partners. See the industry bulletin for more information.
The request for qualifications (RFQ) closed on February 4, 2021. On March 4, 2021, the City shortlisted 3 teams to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase of LRV procurement. Please read our industry bulletin for more details.
The project entered into Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) procurement on November 24, 2020 (see industry bulletin).
With direction from the City and 2 years of public consultation, an extensive list of LRT Design Guidelines for Sustainable Urban Integration (SUI) was established.
SUI looks beyond the building of tracks and trains to create neighbourhoods that are safe, attractive and connected. This involves designing livable, pedestrian-friendly environments and adding enhancements that reflect the feel and character of each of the communities along the LRT corridor.
Some examples of SUI enhancements include:
City Council considered the impact on property owners when approving the route for the Valley Line LRT and ultimately selected an alignment that minimizes the need for the acquisition of private property. However, in some cases, privately-held property will need to be acquired in order for the project to move forward. Potential property needs for the Valley Line were assessed during the preliminary engineering process completed in 2013.
If a property owner and the City property agent cannot reach an agreement to purchase the property, the City may proceed with expropriation of the property as a last resort.
The Valley Line LRT is designed to meet the overall goals of LRT expansion while fully integrating with the communities it serves. The low-floor, urban style LRT allows stops to be small, basically a raised curb and sidewalk with a shelter. Stops can be spaced closer together, making LRT accessible to more people. It costs less than elevated or subway systems.
The Valley Line LRT will run alongside traffic in designated lanes and follow the posted speed limits. The LRT will cross through an intersection during a green light and stop at a red light, just like the other vehicles on the road. The LRT may get green light priority at some intersections, but because no crossing arms will be lowered, cross-traffic won’t have to wait additional time before and after the LRT passes. As a result, increases in wait times are usually minor.
Another benefit of keeping the LRT at street level is that no overhead structures or tunnels are required. Going above or below street level creates visual and physical barriers in the community that reduce comfort and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists moving through or within the area.
There are some locations where going above or below street level are required. For instance, on Valley Line Southeast, the LRT crosses CP and CN train tracks. Due to rail safety requirements and technical difficulties with having LRT tracks and train tracks intersect, the LRT has to go above or below street level for these crossings.
At other locations, street level crossings are incompatible with the style of road. For example, going above or below street level is required when an LRT crosses over Anthony Henday Drive or any of the streets in Edmonton’s “inner ring road”; Whitemud Drive, 75 Street, Yellowhead Trail and 170 Street.
Going above or below street level is also considered where traffic volume is already causing intersection gridlock and there is no other way to provide relief.
A fully elevated or underground LRT would be inconsistent with the City’s vision, and it would be very costly. This higher cost would result in a much longer time to expand the system and realize the benefits.
Going above street level would require a bridge over the intersection for the LRT vehicles to travel on. The bridge is called an elevated guideway, and consists of a single deep beam that supports the weight of the bridge, LRT vehicles, snow, rain, wind, and so on.
The elevated guideway ramps up and down for about two blocks on each side of the intersection to get to its required height. It is typically supported on large concrete piers centered below the beam, but sometimes may need to be supported on a second layer of deep beams that span across the road onto concrete columns.
Due to the close proximity of the elevated station at West Edmonton Mall going underground is not considered feasible at 178 Street. Because an LRT stop can’t be placed on a slope, going above or below street level would usually mean that LRT stops intended to be placed near the intersection would need to be either shifted further from the intersection or built above street level as well.
Building above or below street level would be a departure from the City’s vision for a sustainable, urban, integrated, low-floor LRT system designed to blend into surrounding mature communities.
An elevated crossing would be more of a visual and potentially physical barrier. Building above or below street level would involve extending the tracks above ground from the elevated West Edmonton Mall station westward to cross over 178 Street and ramp down to ground level east of 182 Street. The 182 Street LRT stop is far enough away from 178 Street that it would probably be unaffected.
Travel times are calculated using transportation modelling software to measure travel times for vehicle, LRT and traffic congestion.
Plans call for partial priority for the LRT at some major intersections where the green signal can be extended slightly to allow the LRT to pass before it turns red.
However, the LRT may still get a red signal that will require it to stop. The assessment includes determining if a reasonable balance of intersection movements can be achieved.