100 Street Funicular and Frederick G. Todd Lookout | ?m | ?s | City of Edmonton | DIALOG


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Sep 22, 2015
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Edmonton funicular construction to start March 7
Construction on the new river valley funicular will start March 7, despite ongoing misgivings from some city councillors.

“If we had more flexibility around these funds, if it were up to me I might be doing something different,” Mayor Don Iveson said Tuesday. “We were kind of pushed by the federal funding into a series of decisions … but it could be an amazing public space, a post card place for the City of Edmonton.”

More than two thirds $24-million budget was previously committed from Ottawa and the province, funnelled through the regional arm’s-length organization, the River Valley Alliance.

On Tuesday, councillors approved the environmental impact study, removing the last hurdle to construction. City officials don’t yet know the exact costs for running and maintaining the facility, but estimate it will cost $500,000 and $1 million annually. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2017.

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)


Source: DIALOG


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Construction of Mechanized Access begins March 7
Construction of the Mechanized River Valley Access project begins March 7. Work in Marchwill include tree and shrub clearing and setup of the top platform beside Hotel Macdonald.

To ensure public safety, the staircase connecting McDougall Hill Road to the top of bank near the Hotel Macdonald will be closed during construction. The existing wood staircase will be reconfigured and used within the new design to maintain this important pedestrian route into downtown.

Grierson Hill and McDougall Hill Road will have temporary traffic disruptions throughout the construction process, including a temporary lane closure at the top of McDougall Hill Road for approximately six months (during non-peak times only). Minor disruptions can also be expected across Grierson Hill and McDougall Hill Road as equipment is moved from construction storage areas to the site.

The City will replace shrubs and trees removed with an equivalent value of new plantings. The number of large trees being removed for this project is minimal, with the majority of the site being low-lying shrubs and brush. The City will reclaim temporarily disturbed areas with native seed mix.

The target for construction completion is fall 2017.

The Mechanized River Valley Access project will create a new destination in our city with accessible access and will include a funicular, an outdoor elevator, and a broad staircase with generous landings that will offer people places to stop and enjoy the panoramic views of the river valley.

In 2013, The City of Edmonton received $72.9 million funding from the River Valley Alliance for five projects designed to improve access in the river valley (projects are funded by the provincial and federal governments). The combined budget for the Mechanized River Valley Access and Touch the Water projects is $34.4 million, with $24 million allocated to Mechanized River Valley Access.

For more information:

Media contact:
Cheryl Mitchell
Communications Advisor

Source (City of Edmonton)
Edmonton’s newest Downtown destination!

While the funicular may be the most attention grabbing and unique part of the Mechanized River Valley Access, the project is about so much more! Mechanized Access will create a new destination in our city — one that will allow people of all ages and abilities to access one of Edmonton’s most prized assets. This innovative, barrier-free system will allow people to enjoy both our vibrant Downtown and our amazing river valley within minutes. And while connectivity to nature is a key element, the project has also been designed to include programmable spaces, and places for active play, social engagement and relaxation.

This new city-building project has seven key elements:


The Promontory (top platform)


A promontory has been designed to take advantage of the amazing views from the top of the bank near the Hotel Macdonald. Stop under the sheltered canopy as you load onto the funicular, take a moment to relax at one of the seating areas, or spend a few moments at the top of the urban staircase taking in the sights.

The Stairs


Designed for more than getting from point A to point B, these are not your typical river valley stairs. Wide and welcoming, the stairs are a place to linger, to stop and sit, or to get in your daily workout. For those cyclists not wanting to take the funicular, a bike rail runs the length of the stairs.

The Funicular

With plenty of space for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and bikes, the glass enclosed funicular will descend from the top of the bank to a promenade above the valley floor. The funicular will fit up to 20 people and can accommodate different configurations of bikes, trailers, strollers, and specialized equipment like wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

The Promenade


The steps and the funicular will land on a promenade, which includes a grassy seating area with benches for people to stop and enjoy the views. The promenade is designed to accommodate both through-traffic and citizens wanting to eat lunch, watch the sunset, or perhaps take in the Canada Day fireworks!

The Bridge


Connecting the promenade to the lookout, the bridge will provide a safe passage for pedestrians across Grierson Hill Road.

The Lookout


The bridge gently slopes down to overlook the edge of the river. A glass railing and built-in seating will allow a seamless, breathtaking experience. Take in the flow of the river and the downtown skyline!

The Elevator

The elevator is an essential part of creating accessible, barrier-free access to the river valley. From the bridge, an elevator and a staircase will connect the Mechanized River Valley Access to the existing trail system and Louise McKinney Park, the Low Level Bridge and the Rossdale/River Crossing area.

The Mechanized River Valley Access project will be a new entranceway into Downtown and a new focal point in the river valley. This exciting new addition to the Downtown is made possible by funding from the River Valley Alliance, the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta. In 2013, the City of Edmonton received $72.9 million in funding from the River Valley Alliance, and the provincial and federal governments for initiatives to increase access and connectivity within the river valley. Of this $72.9 million, the City of Edmonton contributed $1.7 million.

More information on all the River Valley Alliance projects can be found atEdmonton.ca/rivervalleyprojects.

Source (Transforming Edmonton Blog)


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I have experienced New York's Highline project a number of times on several visits. This could have been a comparable project with similar amenities. What could have made this better or improved on what is being built? Staggering the vertical staircase so that it is not a direct run from top to bottom (or bottom to top), forcing the pedestrian encounter to be more varied than a straight up-and-down shot; including indigenous plants in the stair run and on the level platform so that there is a learning experience with riparian plant types; extensions of landings so that there are many and varied viewpoints along the trek experience; perhaps a "rapids" or "waterfall" that parallels the walking/funicular experience (think the airport terminal in Vancouver); indigenous art elements that harken to the history of "Pehonan"; and some "foodie" stops that engage public appetites. I don't rag on Dialog to express my inner grousing and crotchety being -- I am trying to get them to think a little harder about outcomes -- they are a big entity and they need to do better -- less institutional architecture and more innovation!
I don't actually mind that the stairs are straight up and down, but I think they should be wider if it's going to be straight up and down. It reminds me of the steps at Sacre Coeur.

I should clarify that I don't mind it being straight, as in still going straight up but having landings along the way.
August 2016

Construction of the Mechanized River Valley Access (MRVA) began in March 2016 and is anticipated to be completed by late 2017. The City of Edmonton thanks drivers, businesses, and trail users for your patience as we complete this exciting new addition to our river valley.

Work completed in July/August
  • Concrete pours for the upper promontory walls and slabs.
  • Installation of funicular supports and rails.
  • Concrete pours for lower elevator foundations and walls.
  • Backfilling around urban stair and funicular foundations.
  • Beginning fabrication of the funicular cab.
Work in progress/planned for September
  • Ongoing installation of structural steel for the urban stair.
  • Ongoing concrete work for promontory and elevator areas.
  • Complete upper machine room walls (for funicular).
  • Begin installation of funicular emergency stairs.
Traffic Impacts
The project team is coordinating a total weekend closure of Grierson Hill Road with other City departments. This closure will likely take place in early to mid October. More information will be provided closer to the closure date.

Off-peak closures of the eastbound lane on Grierson Hill Road continue throughout construction.

River Valley Alliance (RVA)
In 2013, the City of Edmonton received $72.9 million in funding for five initiatives as part of the River Valley Alliance (RVA) Capital Project. Of this, the RVA contributed $48.6 million, and the City of Edmonton contributed $1.7 million. The remaining funding was granted from the provincial government. The Mechanized River Valley Access project is part of the City’s RVA initiatives and has a budget of $24 million.

The RVA is a collaboration of the seven municipalities along the capital region’s North Saskatchewan River Valley that share a common goal – to preserve, protect and enhance the river valley park system for the year round accessibility and enjoyment of citizens and visitors.

In January 2013, the RVA launched a major $90 million Capital Project that includes 13 priority initiatives in 18 sites. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $30 million through the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component towards the RVA Capital Project. The Government of Alberta is also contributing $30 million through the Capital Region River Valley Park grant.

Public Art Announcement
The City of Edmonton unveiled the art piece for the Mechanized Access as part of the Percent for Art Program.

The artwork, Turbulent, by Jill Anholt, is inspired by the unique water patterns of the North Saskatchewan River. Turbulent will consist of thin, brightly-coloured metal ribbons that will float above concrete benches on the grass lawn north of the promenade. In addition to being a vibrant art piece, the ribbons will act as seating for pedestrians to pause, sit, lounge, and converse while taking in incredible river valley views.

The total commission is $150,000 and will be installed by the end of 2017.


Source: https://www.edmonton.ca/projects_pl...ccess-project-and-construction-timelines.aspx