WATCH ABOVE: New details have been released about the often-delayed Metro Line LRT project. Vinesh Pratap has the details.
EDMONTON — It’s been seven years since the plan to extend the LRT from downtown to NAIT was approved by city council.
The 3.3-kilometre stretch of the Metro Line was originally scheduled to open in April 2014, but has seen delay after delay due to problems with the new signalling system.
In a report released Monday, city staff indicated there was a complete system failure of the signalling system on June 2.
The City of Edmonton said it will now open the line on Sunday, Sept. 6. Operators won’t rely on the signalling system entirely, but go by what they can see ahead, and their speeds will be limited to no more than 25 km/h between MacEwan and NAIT stations.
An independent safety consultant has been brought in to verify the work of the signalling contractor, Thales.
The independent safety consultant is expected to have an initial assessment in place within the next six weeks. It could take up to six months for the company to identify the problems and to mitigate them.
“We’ve taken steps to ensure that that independent verification can occur,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “So I’m satisfied that the right steps are being taken, obviously there is some more work to do, changes have been made internally in administration as well, but we’ll talk a little bit more about that next week.
“I am satisfied, though, that administration has been working very, very hard over the summer to try to find a way to turn on this system and also to work with the contractor, Thales, which is continuing to have issues complying and meeting our expectations,” said Iveson.
WATCH: Until the Metro LRT Line starts running normally, people will have to get used to a train that won’t be going over 25 kilometres an hour. Vinesh Pratap takes a look at the impact.
However, on Wednesday, the signalling contractor released a statement saying it isn’t supporting the opening of the line. Thales also said it’s been misrepresented and there’s been misinformation released regarding line’s issues.
One of the hot topics to emerge from Monday’s meeting was the fact that the city manager was not initially made aware of the issues with the signalling system when they started to emerge.
Here’s a quick look back at the seven-year saga of the Metro Line LRT, by the numbers:
- Cost of the project: $665 million
- Amount to be withheld from signal contractor Thales until line is deemed safe: $26 million (Half of the contract value)
- Number of months delayed: 16 (so far)
- Number of times the opening date has been pushed back: 5
- Number of open civil construction deficiencies currently on the line: 31
- Number of major civil construction deficiencies currently on the line: 6
- Total number of civil construction deficiencies on the project: 1,114 (Typical for a project of this size, according to City of Edmonton)
- Number of deadlines missed by signal contractor Thales: 7
To read the report on the Metro Line presented to city council on Monday, visit the City of Edmonton’s website.
With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News.