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Funicular coming to Edmonton’s River Valley

There will soon be a new way to access Edmonton's picturesque River Valley from the downtown core.
There will soon be a new way to access Edmonton's picturesque River Valley from the downtown core. Courtesy, City of Edmonton

EDMONTON – There will soon be a new way to access Edmonton’s picturesque River Valley from the downtown core.

City council approved the construction of the Mechanized River Valley Access project, which will include an urban staircase with a funicular, pedestrian bridge and outdoor elevator.

“Our River Valley offers Edmontonians and visitors unparalleled opportunities to connect to nature. This project means people with mobility challenges, parents with strollers and cyclists will have the same opportunity to access the trails from our downtown,” said Rob Marchak, director of Strategic Projects with the City of Edmonton.

The wide staircase will also have landings for people to stop and enjoy the view.

“The project is not just about connecting the top of the bank to the river valley. It is also about creating a new destination and attraction in our city,” said councillor Michael Walters. “I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime enhancement to the city.”

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

The project will start at 100 Street near the Hotel MacDonald and end in the River Valley trail system near the Low Level Bridge.

The $24 million project is being funded by the River Valley Alliance, the City of Edmonton and the provincial and federal governments.

Before construction can begin, the city has to be granted a funding extension from the other partners. If that comes through, the city hopes to begin construction as early as this summer.