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Spring Update - Construction Preparation

With construction planned to start in 2020, there is a significant amount of work to be done along the corridor to get ready for that important milestone. Some of the upcoming construction preparation work can be found below.

Questions about this work, or the Valley Line West project, can be directed to LRTprojects@edmonton.ca or 780-496-4874.

Upcoming Construction Preparation Work

Trees and Shrubbery

Crews will remove about 15 to 24 trees, along with some shrubbery, on 10 to 12 City-owned vacant residential properties. Crews will work during the day. You may see bins and large trucks. While there may be some minimal traffic and pedestrian impacts, disruptions should be minor.

Utility Relocations

Much of the work to prepare Valley Line West for construction goes on underground where a large network of electric, water, gas and telecommunications utility infrastructure is located. Utilities in some areas must be relocated to make way for LRT infrastructure, like the tracks that will be built to carry the trains.

Downtown (102 Avenue and 103 Street) - Early July until end of August
Epcor crews will relocate electric infrastructure in the area of 103 Street and 102 Avenue. Two-way traffic will be maintained on 103 Street and 102 Avenue but crews will temporarily remove some on-street parking along with a portion of the bike lane on 103 Street. Crews will work from 7:30am and 5pm.

103 Street north of 102 Avenue: full road and bike lane closure
Epcor crews will install an electric vault, requiring a full road closure from 9pm on August 19 to midnight on August 21. The west sidewalk on 102 Street will remain open throughout the closure. View the Epcor construction bulletin for more information.

104 Avenue - early August for about 4 weeks
Lane reductions will be in place as Epcor crews work to construct a water line. Drivers are encouraged to detour using other routes.

142 Street and Stony Plain Road - early August until approximately August 23
Southbound 142 Street is reduced to 1 lane as Epcor crews work on utility relocations in the area. Right and left turns from 142 Street south are banned at Stony Plain Road. Westbound Stony Plain Road is reduced to 1 travel lane and 1 left-turn lane to southbound 142 Street. Left turns to 142 Street from Stony Plain Road are banned. Drivers are encouraged to detour using other routes.

Meadowlark Road - early August for about 4 weeks
Epcor crews will be doing water main relocations from 88 Avenue to 89 Avenue. There may be some traffic disruptions during the course of this work. 

156 Street and 100 Avenue - July 22 until August 25, 2019
Epcor crews will be working near 156 Street and 100 Avenue to relocate water utilities. There may be traffic delays in the area as 156 Street will be down to 1 lane in each direction, and left turns will be banned at 100A Avenue and Stony Plain Road.

87 Avenue from 165 Street to 170 Street - July 29 until September
Epcor crews will be working on 87 Avenue between 165 and 170 Street for drainage utility relocations, weather permitting. The work will happen in 3 locations along 87 Avenue. There will be lane closures and left turn restrictions. View the construction notice from Epcor for a full overview of the work.

Buildings

Crews will 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. This work is expected to last through the construction season this year.

About the Project

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.

Learn more about the history of public engagement or the project

Project Update — April 2019

On Tuesday April 30, 2019, City Council approved the municipal funding contribution of $444 million for Valley Line West and applied the federal and provincial contributions to the project budget. That means Valley Line West is fully funded and can move forward through procurement and construction, extending the Valley Line West 14 kilometres from Downtown to Lewis Farms.

It’s expected it will take approximately 1 year to select a contractor for the project and another 5 to 6 years for construction. Learn more at Transforming Edmonton.

Valley Line West Preliminary Design

Procurement

Update - July 2019
The project entered into procurement in March 2019, which involved a rigorous competitive process to select a team that can deliver the project. A shortlist of pre-qualified teams was released on May 31, 2019.

Since then, 2 of the 3 shortlisted teams have withdrawn from the process. Over the next few months, the project team will gauge market interest for future procurement. This development is not anticipated to have an impact on the overall schedule for the project.

Read our industry bulletin for more information.

Background
Valley Line West will be delivered using a design-build-finance-vehicle (DBFV) delivery approach. This type of contract requires the selected team to carry out the final design, construction, integration with Valley Line Southeast, and vehicle procurement of Valley Line West, as well as provide partial financing for the project.

You can learn more about the project from the Business Case summary. Please see the Valley Line West Procurement Fact Sheet and Transforming Edmonton for additional details.

Virtual Reality Video

View our 360-degree virtual reality video of the Alex Decoteau stop on the Valley Line West route. See first-hand how the Valley Line LRT will transform communities into more walkable, street-oriented places for people to live, work and play.

Where We Are

With federal and provincial funding now in place, the City can move forward with procurement which involves undertaking a rigorous competitive process to select a team who can effectively deliver the project.

It will take about 1 year to select a contractor for the Valley Line West LRT project, and another 5 to 6 years to complete construction which is expected to begin in 2020.

Valley Line West Booklet

Valley Line West Booklet (16 MB)

Note: All images and renderings remain subject to change and are not final. Final designs will be shared publicly when complete.

102 Street to Lewis Farms

Map Legend

Design Phase Design Phase Park and Ride Park & Ride
Elevated Elevated Public Engagement Public Engagement Meeting(s)
Bridge Bridge Stops or Stations Stops or Stations
Kiss and Ride Kiss and Ride Transit Station Transit Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sustainable Urban Integration (SUI)?

With direction from the City and two 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:

  • Building shared-use pathways, sidewalks and trails
  • Adding bike lanes that connect to the City’s existing bike lane network
  • Designing pedestrian-friendly zones around stops and stations
  • Using enhanced landscaping and streetscaping along the length of the corridor to create a more natural environment
  • Incorporating organic materials such as stone and wood wherever possible

These guidelines were incorporated into the LRT Design Guide, a document that became the foundation for specific design requirements included in the Valley Line LRT - Stage 1 Project Agreement.

Transforming Edmonton Post

Sustainable Urban Integration - Connecting Edmonton to its Routes

What is Property​ ​Acquisition and Expropriation?

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.

Why is the LRT designed to run primarily at street level, and how is it made compatible with car traffic?

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.

When is above or below street level considered?

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.

Why not elevate or tunnel the entire LRT?

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.

What would going above or below street level involve?

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.

How are travel time savings calculated?

Travel times are calculated using transportation modelling software to measure travel times for vehicle, LRT and traffic congestion.

If plans for Valley Line involve LRT priority is removing them an alternative to going above or below street level?

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.

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City of Edmonton

Telephone 780-496-4874
Email LRTprojects@edmonton.ca

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