Edmonton Valley Line expansion protected in city deal
The company that will build the first stage of the city’s Valley Line LRT won’t have any claim on building the second part.
A major concern about the public private partnership the city entered into for the line has been future expansion. TransEd Partners now has the contract to build and operate the line from Mill Woods to downtown, but the city ultimately hopes to extend that line from downtown to Lewis Estates in West Edmonton.
Kip Hritzuk, a commercial advisor for the city on the project, said they thought about a highly detailed approach, but ultimately decided to focus on establishing core ideas.
“You can go down a rabbit hole and start to imagine all the different permutations and combinations of expansions and you will exhaust yourself,” he said.
The contract lays out that the city is not committed to building the western extension and that TransEd will not necessarily be the contractor. It also lays out that if the company isn’t successful in a bid for the next line it has a responsibility to work with the company that is.
Edmonton moves to protect festivals in LRT deal
The biggest construction project in Edmonton’s history will have some effect on the city’s biggest festivals, but city staff believe they have written a contract that eases the pain.
The Valley Line contract, released to the public last week, includes provisions about specific festivals and areas where the contractor, TransEd Partners, will have to avoid construction.
“We have to make sure we are not jack-hammering or driving piles during the middle of a major festival,” said project spokesperson Quinn Nicholson.
The Cloverdale Footbridge will come down and be replaced in the process, but from the day it closes the new bridge must open within 34 months.
He said the city wanted to ensure festivals could still carry on and staff met regularly with people from the Folk Festival and the groups using Churchill Square to ensure the city was doing its best.
Bombardier promises Toronto troubles won't impact Edmonton LRT
Bombardier insists its problems delivering Toronto streetcars on time won’t continue in four years when it has to deliver similar vehicles for Edmonton.
The company is part of the TransEd Partners consortium building the Valley Line from Mill Woods to downtown and is responsible for supplying low-floor trains for the line.
In Toronto, the Montreal-based company was contracted to deliver 204 streetcars to replace that city’s aging fleet, but has consistently missed timelines.
Just this week, it cut promises to deliver 54 units in 2016 to just 16.
But Bombardier spokesman Marc-Andre Lefebvre said the company is making quality-control improvements on its production line in response.
“All of the ways we have improved our line will benefit all of our projects, and namely Edmonton,” he said.
Valley Line consortium confident in Bombardier, despite delays in other cities
The company contracted to provide LRT cars for the southeast Valley LRT Line has caused major delays for a new LRT in Waterloo, Ont.
Bombardier Rail is one of four partners that formed the TransEd consortium to design, build and operate the valley line.
On Tuesday, the Region of Waterloo confirmed that problems with Bombardier's production of the trains had delayed the launch date for it's new LRT line to early 2018, from late 2017.
The news came after the Toronto Transit Commission Board voted to seek legal action against Bombardier in October for the company's inability to deliver streetcars on time.
Edmonton's 13-kilometre LRT line to connect Mill Woods with downtown will be built as a public-private partnership, which the city has said transfers to the private sector significant risks for budget, schedule or performance delays, as well as ongoing maintenance and operations.
Brace for Valley Line LRT construction chaos, warns builder of the $1.8-billion project
Commuter chaos is about to befall Edmonton with preparations for construction of the $1.8-billion Valley LRT line now underway.
Residents are firstly being warned to expect a host of traffic detours that will not only affect drivers, but also pedestrians and cyclists around one of the project’s earliest and most contentious closures: the Cloverdale footbridge and surrounding trails. The entire Valley Line project is to be complete in 2020.
Construction site fences have been erected around Louise McKinney Park and access roads to the North Saskatchewan River are being created to accommodate trucks hauling in heavy equipment for the bridge tear down.
Dean Heuman, a spokesman for TransEd, the consortium building the Valley Line LRT, expects the bridge teardown to take about two months.
“Then we will start construction of the new bridge when that’s completed,” he said of the new bridge, to be called Tawatinâ, the Cree word for “valley.”
Project activity — slated to begin in two to six weeks — also includes:
- The area around Davies station will have some construction activity but traffic flow should remain normal.
- A major access road will be built through Wagner Park so people who use the park should be aware that there will be some fencing and closures in the area.
- Construction of the elevated guideway over Henrietta Muir Edwards Park and Muttart Conservatory Park will begin in September or October.
- Scraping and preparation at the Gerry Wright Operations and Maintenance Facility at 75 Street and Whitemud Dr. will begin in the next two weeks. This will be the main operations centre for the Valley LRT line. Construction is not expected to disrupt traffic.
- Louise McKinney Park will remain open but people should obey all posted signs and directions of construction crews. Signs will be posted throughout the city where work is being done.
- The Valley LRT line is expected to open at the end of 2020 and cost $1.8 billion.