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Some bus stops relocated as construction begins at West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre

Click to play video: 'Safety and security key focuses as renovation work begins at West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre' Safety and security key focuses as renovation work begins at West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre
WATCH ABOVE: Upgrades are coming to a major transit centre, where some customers feel security issues should be better addressed. Vinesh Pratap takes a look at what changes are planned at the West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre. – May 16, 2016

Construction is underway to improve services at the West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre.

The work began Monday morning and is expected to last until early 2017. Improvements to the centre include:

  • Replacing the transit centre building
  • Enhancing safety with more security cameras, better sight lines within the transit centre, better outdoor lighting, and redesigned sidewalks
  • Increasing comfort with a larger indoor heated waiting area and added seating
  • Installing public art, upgrading building design and completing platform improvements

“Security is a priority for us,” Manuel Quilala, project manager for the West Edmonton Mall transit centre rehabilitation, said. “When you have a space that’s more inviting, it speaks for itself, it eliminates the crime, right? If you give something of value it becomes an ownership, as well.”

With 16,000 people passing through every day, the transit centre at West Edmonton Mall is one of the busiest in the city.

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“It gets pretty busy in the morning, especially with everyone going to work,” said Sam Dumais, who takes the bus to work every day. “Then right around three o’clock, when kids are off school, there’s a lot of kids who take the bus.”

With the work underway, all bus stops located at the centre island have been temporarily closed.

Buses will use other stops in the transit centre or temporary stops, which have been set up on 87 Avenue westbound between 172 and 175 Streets.

The transit centre map below shows the new locations of the stops.

Construction on the West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre began Monday, May 16, 2015. Credit, City of Edmonton

Westbound traffic on 87 Avenue from 170 Street to 178 Street will be reduced from three lanes to two to make way for the temporary bus stops.

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The West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre is about 35 years old, Quilala said. The renovations are pegged at $3 million.

The upgrades to the transit centre come as city council pushes to get LRT extended west, where the mall would have a stop.

“If the LRT station comes and some of the structures are already there and can be kept, then certainly it can be incorporated in the new LRT design,” Quilala said.

Abbottsfield and Belvedere transit centres will also undergo construction this year.

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