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Business near 83 Street concerned about plans for single-lane traffic with Valley Line LRT

Artistic rendering from Bombardier of the low floor trains that will be used on Edmonton's Valley LRT Line. Supplied by Bombardier Transportation

As the plan to turn 83 Street to Argyll Road into a single lane of traffic in each direction sinks in with businesses and residents in the area, some worry the city is making a big mistake.

The construction on the Valley Line LRT is underway and it is causing traffic snarls all over the south side but a big concern is what will happen to 83 Street.

Brett Morgan, owner of Sandy Lane Auto, said putting the LRT down the middle of 83 Street and only having a one lane south and one north is going to cause major congestion for the foreseeable future.

“It potentially could hurt my business.”

“I live on the south side of Edmonton and the train track on 119 Street totally affects the way I navigate the south side, so I feel like this could really hurt our business.”

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READ MORE: Valley Line LRT construction jams up traffic in southeast Edmonton

The south end of 83 Street at Argyll is already down to one lane for construction and traffic gets backed up quite far north already.

“It is possible they could go somewhere else to get services at places that are easier to get in and out of,” Morgan explained. “Seventy-fifth Street has always been a real challenging road to travel down too but with 83 Street, if they go down to a single lane, one each side, with a train track down the middle, it will be very challenging to navigate this neighbourhood.”

With 13 kilometres of track needing to be laid for the Valley Line, construction on the south side will be a normal sight until completion.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s Valley Line LRT is on time, even the Bombardier rail cars

“The construction that is going to happen on 83 Street is just going to be exacerbated so much more,” Morgan said.

“We use that thoroughfare to go downtown constantly. We’re up and down that road five or six times a day with our customer shuttle so it will be a real issue going forward for us.”

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Morgan added that there are few options to try to avoid the area, especially with construction on 75 Street for the Valley Line as well.

The Valley Line LRT is expected to be completed by 2020.