July 6, 2015 3:24 pm
Updated: July 6, 2015 9:48 pm

Councillor calls Metro LRT delay ‘boondoggle’ after leaked report


WATCH ABOVE: There are now suggestions the not-yet-open LRT project to NAIT ran into major construction problems that weren’t shared with everyone. Vinesh Pratap reports.

EDMONTON — The cause of the 15-month delay of the Metro LRT Line appears to be more extensive than previously reported.

A report obtained by the Edmonton Journal lists 12 problems facing the LRT line. The issues include water pooling on the tracks, loose guard rails, and communications systems blocked or filled with water and debris.

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The City of Edmonton had previously only identified an issue with the signalling system as a reason for the lengthy delay.

READ MORE: Edmonton Transit’s Metro Line to NAIT still not open

Details in the leaked report had Councillor Mike Nikel calling the project a waste of time and money.

“To me this is a boondoggle,” he said.

“We all commonly understand when a project goes awry at such a scale… boondoggle I think is an appropriate word.”

Other city councillors expressed shock and anger over the latest findings.

“The delay is very frustrating and it’s making me a bit angry now that it’s taking as long as it has,” said Michael Oshry.

“The frustrating part at this point is, it seems there’s just not a whole lot we can do to get it going without the management of the transit department pushing this forward and doing everything they can.”

READ MORE: Concerns raised about train frequency on Metro LRT Line

The project takes the LRT line from Churchill Station to NAIT. It was originally scheduled to open in April 2014.

“These are all issues that should have been brought to our attention right at the beginning. And certainly the auditor’s report identified some issues but certainly not to this extent,” said Councillor Tony Caterina.

People will be held accountable as a result of the problems surrounding the project but at the moment the focus has to be on completing the project, added Oshry.

A city audit expected in August will review both the signalling system and management for the entire $665-million project.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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