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Safety concerns bring about stop-work order on Edmonton LRT tunnel

Click to play video: 'Safety concerns prompt massive composter in Edmonton to be shut down' Safety concerns prompt massive composter in Edmonton to be shut down
WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton's Valley LRT Line has been under a stop-work order since Dec. 4 because of the lack of a suitable emergency exit from deep within the LRT tunnel that's under construction. On Dec. 19, 2017, Vinesh Pratap looked at why details about the stop-work order weren't made public originally – Oct 31, 2017

UPDATE: On Jan. 9, 2018, a spokesperson with Alberta Labour confirmed the stop-work order was lifted on the evening of Jan. 8, 2018 after an inspection but did not provide further details. Global News has reached out to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety for details on what the inspection concluded.

Edmonton’s Valley LRT Line has been under a stop-work order since Dec. 4 because of the lack of a suitable emergency exit from deep within the LRT tunnel that’s under construction.

“When officers conducted the inspection, they determined that the site did not meet safety standards,” Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) communications specialist Shirley Lin said in an interview on Monday.

“There was no safe exit in the event of an emergency, so that’s why the order was placed.”

Last Wednesday, TransEd Partners – the consortium that’s building the Valley Line – held a news briefing at which time its spokesperson, Dean Heuman, told reporters tunneling work had been progressing at a rate of a metre to a metre-and-a-half per day.

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READ MORE: Edmonton Valley Line LRT construction will cause traffic headache in 2018

Watch below: Brace yourselves for the next round of LRT construction – a lot is about to change. A Valley Line progress report was presented on Wednesday. Quinn Ohler filed this report on Dec. 13, 2017.

Click to play video: 'Valley LRT Line construction will cause traffic headaches in Edmonton in 2018' Valley LRT Line construction will cause traffic headaches in Edmonton in 2018
Valley LRT Line construction will cause traffic headaches in Edmonton in 2018 – Dec 13, 2017

Trans Ed released a statement on Monday in which it said the reason it never mentioned the order to reporters last Wednesday was because it believed a solution between OHS and TransEd had been reached.

“At the time of the briefing, TransEd had responded to OHS’ inquiries and a resolution was anticipated,” TransEd said in an emailed statement.

“However, OHS followed up with additional questions, which TransEd is answering.

“The tunnel manager and OHS are still sorting this out,” the statement reads.

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Lin said the stop-work order would remain in effect “until conditions are complied with.”

“Once OHS officers are satisfied the site is safe, then the stop-work order will be lifted.

“It wasn’t the result of a complaint. It was inspected as part of a proactive inspection on large projects, so it’s a routine inspection,” Lin added.

The $1.8-billion Valley Line from downtown to Mill Woods is expected to be operational by 2020.

READ MORE: Report shows lineups as long as 500m at some intersections due to southeast Valley Line LRT

The stop-work order has not delayed the overall construction schedule, according to TransEd.

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