Council pushes forward with southeast LRT expansion plan

 City council is pushing ahead with LRT expansion plans from southeast Edmonton to downtown.

The mayor and council have asked to find $800 million for the project that would see a line built from Millwoods to the downtown. The mayor says it’s the first time council has put down on paper the definitive process to build the entire line and prioritize the southeast section.

“If you’re going to have a vision for this city, for what it can be, you need to put in a process on how to do it,” he says, “Vision is wonderful but there is the practicality of doing it. And it might take us 15 or 18 or 20 years but if you don’t put a plan in place to at least start you’re never going to finish.”

Councillor Don Iveson says the decision made today means the city affirmed that it is still committed to taking the LRT to all corners of the city in a cost effective way.

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“If we can get the design nailed down and acquire land and start to price this thing we may be able to lock in some prices before costs go up which would be advantageous. The cheaper we can get it the further we can go with the money we already have pre-allocated.

The plan does depend on the provincial and federal governments putting in a third of the cost each.
A report is due back before council next year. The city is estimating the project will cost between $1.2 and $1.5 billion.

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