News   Apr 03, 2020
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Capital Line LRT


$1.34B for 4.5 km. Definitely glad the city started the valley line when it did with favorable interest rates etc or that project would have been significantly higher.

I'm a bit afraid to see the cost for the extension to the northwest from Blatchford when that starts moving forward.

Be interesting to see if a PP federal government will keep investment strong into public transportation.
 
The obvious solution here is what they should have done last may: don’t build the twin brooks station.
That would save most likely 300 million from the project budget. More importantly, it’s too close to century park for a suburban LRT line. Residents said they don’t want it, it’s only a 5-10 minute bus ride to century park. I don’t think that’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Having the meeting in secret is fine given that it’s hurtful to AECOM and Ledcor, but also the city- private bargaining and negotiating is extremely confidential. That said, the legislation pathway is all wrong- it should go public debate prior to the bylaw.

Regardless, I mentioned here before how far behind this project is, and now the city website has it another year behind- September 2028 (was September 2027). The crazy thing is that in June 2021, the completion was in Q4 2026. How can 3 years pass and the completion date has changed this much? All funding was secured in late 2021.

The city has a deep flaw in managing large projects, of course inflation is a major issue here; but if we are paying 1.3 billion, not withstanding change orders and other cost overruns, for 4km of track, 1 OMF, and 2 stations, what will the metro line extension cost? I struggle to see this city being able to afford any other LRT expansion when the costs of this project are insane for the scope of work.

There is no way the cost of this project is in line with its benefits. Only $1.6 billion for the VLSE and $2.6 billion for the VLW; id rather wait and get higher value for money than whatever this catastrophe of a project is turning out to be.
 
The obvious solution here is what they should have done last may: don’t build the twin brooks station.
That would save most likely 300 million from the project budget. More importantly, it’s too close to century park for a suburban LRT line. Residents said they don’t want it, it’s only a 5-10 minute bus ride to century park. I don’t think that’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Having the meeting in secret is fine given that it’s hurtful to AECOM and Ledcor, but also the city- private bargaining and negotiating is extremely confidential. That said, the legislation pathway is all wrong- it should go public debate prior to the bylaw.

Regardless, I mentioned here before how far behind this project is, and now the city website has it another year behind- September 2028 (was September 2027). The crazy thing is that in June 2021, the completion was in Q4 2026. How can 3 years pass and the completion date has changed this much? All funding was secured in late 2021.

The city has a deep flaw in managing large projects, of course inflation is a major issue here; but if we are paying 1.3 billion, not withstanding change orders and other cost overruns, for 4km of track, 1 OMF, and 2 stations, what will the metro line extension cost? I struggle to see this city being able to afford any other LRT expansion when the costs of this project are insane for the scope of work.

There is no way the cost of this project is in line with its benefits. Only $1.6 billion for the VLSE and $2.6 billion for the VLW; id rather wait and get higher value for money than whatever this catastrophe of a project is turning out to be.

I probably won't be able to get over that for a long time.

Seeing the public speakers suggesting to defer the station to keep the Heritage Valley station and crossing over Ellerslie Road elevated, but having most of city council shoot it down because apparently building the Twin Brooks station now is way more important.

But is it really important enough that it's worth potentially repeating past LRT mistakes with Ellerslie Road?

I just can't agree with that.
 
With the hospital on pause, and a airport connection not even on the radar, I’d prefer we pause this and go hard on a blatchford NW extension first.

This will barely increase ridership for over 1bil. NW line would add tens of thousands daily from day 1, not even mentioning future TODs
 
Whyte Ave low floor would do a better job to drive ridership. Regardless, this project is happening.

If it's cancelled do not expect another project to take its place.
 
With the hospital on pause, and a airport connection not even on the radar, I’d prefer we pause this and go hard on a blatchford NW extension first.

This will barely increase ridership for over 1bil. NW line would add tens of thousands daily from day 1, not even mentioning future TODs
They've already spent $70 million, and close out costs for the work underway is another $30 million. So, we'd be looking at throwing away $100 million for nothing. Not to mention other levels of government might not be willing to redirect their funding, especially if we wasted $100 million on nothing.
 
They really have to figure out what to do differently to lessen the costs of this and all future LRT projects. Even though the question has been asked in the past. I would like to know why construction for the LRT is so expensive. Is there anything that we can do here in Edmonton that would lessen the costs but not sacrifice the quality and scope of the projects.
 
They've already spent $70 million, and close out costs for the work underway is another $30 million. So, we'd be looking at throwing away $100 million for nothing. Not to mention other levels of government might not be willing to redirect their funding, especially if we wasted $100 million on nothing.
YYC has spent over 700M apparently on their "never-gonna-happen-in-their-lifetime" Green line......
 
Twin Brooks Station is part of the funding agreement with the 2 other orders of government. Cut TB and it loses 67% of the funding. Generally would rather like the 1.34 billion spent on the Northwest extension.
I don't know how infrastructure funding works on this scale but it does make one wish they could have had a bit more flexibility or at least the option to renegotiate deliverables, especially when funding is being secured years before construction commencing. Otherwise, the City has exposed themselves to immense amounts of financial risk as we're seeing right now where their options are debt finance change orders to maintain scope or lose their Fed/Prov funding.

I still think if there was a big enough push by Council they could work with the big and bigger brother to alter the scope of the infrastructure agreements, but they don't want to ever set the precedent that enough pushback from residents will have them alter their transit plans. Recall how big of a stink residents of areas like Glenora and Cloverdale threw over the VL. Their arguments could have been a lot more strong if they could point to the cancellation of Twin Brooks. Even if it makes total sense to not have a station that only serves the 6,500 residents at the cost of approx. $300m ($45k/head).
 
They've already spent $70 million, and close out costs for the work underway is another $30 million. So, we'd be looking at throwing away $100 million for nothing. Not to mention other levels of government might not be willing to redirect their funding, especially if we wasted $100 million on nothing.
Sunk cost fallacy

Better to lose 100mil than 1bil. And if the line is one day restarted, some of those costs will be recouped.

It’ll hurt future lines if this one is a failure. Think of all the damage the metro extension brought to public perception of our LRT and city management.
 
Twin Brooks Station is part of the funding agreement with the 2 other orders of government. Cut TB and it loses 67% of the funding. Generally would rather like the 1.34 billion spent on the Northwest extension.
This is a major piece of decision making that needs to be fully understood. Cities do not have much control over a large portion of their infrastructure funding, changing things has knock on effects.

I would also rather them focus on the NW extension or tunnelling under University Ave. But having the line extend past the Henday is a big deal and a worthwhile accomplishment. I agree the price is very high, but even though its a short extension it does include a major tunnel, two bridges, and a maintenance facility.

And now with the hospital cancelled (let's be realistic) I think it will stop at Ellerslie for the next 20 years while the NW extension gets prioritized, which makes the decision not to elevate seem prophetic. Let the province do the work to get to YEG as part of their regional rail focus.
 
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With the hospital on pause, and a airport connection not even on the radar, I’d prefer we pause this and go hard on a blatchford NW extension first.

This will barely increase ridership for over 1bil. NW line would add tens of thousands daily from day 1, not even mentioning future TODs
Have you been to the southside of Edmonton lately? The ridership will increase with this extension.

Both are needed so get this one done and then work on the NW extension.
 
Yeah I gotta disagree with the idea that ridership won't increase too much with this extension. The amount of future U of A/downtown post secondary students that would be served by this is going to be immense and having a properly done transit hub rather than the cramped nature of Century Park is a massive plus. Plus continued growth in the southside (as sprawly as it is) will contribute to either drop offs or bus feeder lines considering the multigenerational nature of a lot of the households in this area.

The park and ride too will probably be much more used than the Davies one based on location alone.

I fully support the NW extension after this, but provincial and federal funding is tied to this. Knowing how provincial agreements work, the moment any change in scope happens, it's a massive round of negotiations and back and forth. A cancellation for this extension doesn't mean those matching funds follow it. It makes very little sense to pause this in that regard unfortunately. The only thing I can think of that might work in the short term is if the Feds decide to cover a chunk of the increase due to an election year in 2025.
 

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