Construction on the latest expansion of Edmonton’s LRT system kicked off at Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre on Monday.
The 27-kilometre Valley Line LRT expansion continues with the Bonnie Doon stop, south of 84 Avenue and 83 Street, which representatives from the shopping centre say will bring new life to the area.
“[Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre] is definitely in need of that rejuvenation,” general manager Charlene Macintyre said.
“It will definitely be a different format moving forward, but Bonnie Doon mall will always be here.”
WATCH ABOVE: In 2013, city planners officially laid out how 27 kilometres of a new LRT line will look and Vinesh Pratap filed this preview.
The long-awaited Valley Line will connect residents from east and west Edmonton to the rest of the city. Macintyre hopes the increased connectivity will enhance the lives of members of the Bonnie Doon community.
“The format [of the Bonnie Doon stop] will meet the needs of the community and be of service to the community,” she said.
Despite major delays with previous LRT updates, city official are confident the latest stop will be ready on time.
The line is being built as a P3 project by TransEd: a four-company consortium made up of Bombardier Transportation, engineering firm Bechtel, construction company EllisDon and Fengate Capital Management.
“We will be running a train on December the 15th of 2020 with passengers on it,” said Dean Heuman, a spokesperson for TransEd.
When it comes to disruptions to traffic, Heuman says the biggest construction years will be 2017 and 2018, followed by less-disruptive work along the rail line.
Traffic delays won’t stop once construction is complete, however.
Despite appeals to elevate the LRT line through the Bonnie Doon neighbourhood, city council voted against the $220-million proposal in April. As a result, the LRT cars will run through the streets.
While the latest LRT expansion might impact the city’s drivers, the Valley Line will make Edmonton a more pedestrian-friendly city that appeals to non-vehicle commuters.
Heuman said the TransEd team will work hard to ensure those commuters have access to the new line as soon as possible.
“It’s a long way,” he said. “(The southeast section) is 13.8 km, so we’re working on it all at one time.
“It’s time to get going.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally said the City of Edmonton had begin construction, but was later corrected to say the line is being built by TransEd.
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