EDMONTON — Ottawa has announced it will contribute $1 billion to support light rail transit (LRT) projects in Edmonton.
The funds, made available through the Canada Infrastructure Plan, will help building two new LRT extensions – $948 million for the Valley Line West and $127 million for the Metro Line Northwest LRT. The province has already agreed to commit $1.17 billion for the two projects through the Climate Leadership Plan.
“Edmonton is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities and we are planning and building our city with this growth in mind. We are undertaking the most ambitious expansion of our LRT network in our history so we can grow smart and sustainably, and keep more than a million people moving,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson in a press release. “Today’s announcement is a true representation of partnership between all levels of government, a partnership that is needed in order to continue to make valuable investments like these that will benefit the generations to come.”
The city must now work towards satisfying municipal funding requirements for the projects and put them before the city council. The city also intends to begin procuring the contractors that will extend the Valley Line by 14 kilometres from downtown to Lewis Farms in west Edmonton, and the Metro Line by 1.5 kilometres from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology into the Blatchford community.
Officials anticipate it will be approximately a year before a contractor is named for the Valley Line West LRT project, and another five to six years to complete construction. It will take about one year to complete design and select a contractor for the Metro Line Northwest LRT extension into Blatchford, and another four years to complete construction and commissioning. Construction on both projects could begin as early as 2020.
“Today’s funding commitments will allow the City to move forward with our plans to bring light rail transit to west and northwest Edmonton,” said Linda Cochrane, Edmonton city manager. “These projects are a major step in growing our LRT network, creating another transportation option for thousands of Edmontonians and providing better connections to where people live, work and play.”