March 7, 2016 2:06 pm
Updated: March 7, 2016 8:52 pm

Construction begins on outdoor elevator to Edmonton’s River Valley

WATCH ABOVE: Construction gets underway this week on the city's new Mechanized River Valley Access project. Gord Steinke sits down with Rob Marchak, director of Strategic Projects with the City of Edmonton, to learn more about the project.

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EDMONTON – Construction begins this week on a mechanized project that will provide access to Edmonton’s River Valley.

The Mechanized River Valley Access project will connect 100 Street near the Hotel Macdonald to the river valley near the Low Level Bridge.

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“While a significant benefit of this project is the creation of an accessible connection from the top of the bank to the river valley trail system, the project is also about designing places for active play, social interaction and relaxation as well as creating programmable spaces for ongoing use,” Rob Marchak, director of strategic projects, said.

READ MORE: Hesitance from Edmonton mayor over funicular in river valley

The project includes a staircase, a promenade with a lawn, a bridge, an elevator and a lookout point. But the most notable aspect of the project is a funicular, which will make it easier to access the River Valley, especially for those who have mobility issues.

“The funicular and elevator, the gentle slope of the path and bridge, and the abundance of seating and rest areas along the way will help ensure access for everyone to enjoy one of the things that make Edmonton such a great place to live,” Erin Jackson, with the Accessibility Advisory Committee, said.

The project comes at a cost of $24 million and is part of Edmonton’s River Valley Alliance projects.

READ MORE: Proposal could see funicular built in Edmonton’s River Valley

In 2013, Edmonton received $72.9 million in funding from the River Valley Alliance and the provincial and federal governments for five projects that increase access to the river valley. The city contributed $1.7 million.

The mechanized project is expected to be done in the fall of 2017.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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