May 9, 2018 11:38 am
Updated: May 9, 2018 8:32 pm

Progress being made on Edmonton Metro Line despite ‘substantial hurdles’: Thales

WATCH ABOVE: After the City of Edmonton threatened to terminate its deal with LRT signalling contractor if it didn't offer a detailed timeline to fix the line, Thales responded. Fletcher Kent reports.

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The company responsible for the signalling system along Edmonton’s Metro LRT Line has responded to a notice of default filed by the city last week.

In a statement sent Wednesday morning, Thales said it’s disappointed with the city of Edmonton’s notice and comments made by the city while speaking to the media last week.

READ MORE: Deadline for Edmonton transit signalling contractor Thales passes with no word

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“We have been making significant and measured progress towards completion, despite substantial hurdles that have been placed in front of us,” the statement reads.

“We have been, and remain, very committed to completing this project. To that end, Thales has provided the city with a detailed roadmap and schedule by which it expects to complete the work.

“The successful completion of this project, as it has always, will demand cooperation from the city. Thales is optimistic that it will receive such cooperation and Edmontonians will very soon enjoy the full benefits of this advanced system.”

Last Tuesday, city officials confirmed Thales had not met its April 30 deadline to fix the issues troubling the problem-plagued LRT line. So the city served Thales with a notice of default under the contract. The signalling contractor was given five business days to respond.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the city confirmed it received the response from Thales.

“The City of Edmonton has received a response from Thales after having issued the company a notice of default over the signalling contract last week. We are currently evaluating this detailed schedule and next steps will be decided once the assessment is complete.

“The City of Edmonton has worked cooperatively and in good faith with Thales over the last seven years to get this project completed. Our goal has always been to have a safe, reliable signalling system that integrates the Metro and Capital Lines, meeting the terms of the contract signed by Thales in 2011.”

READ MORE: Edmonton serves notice of default to Metro LRT signalling contractor

Last week, the deputy city manager of integrated infrastructure services said he expected to receive a revised plan from Thales about how it would solve the signalling issues and on what timeline.

“If that schedule is not met, the city will proceed with termination,” Adam Laughlin said.

Laughlin explained the notice doesn’t mean termination of the contract will happen, but he said it could.

READ MORE: Metro Line sees 49 safety-related incidents in 2 years of operating, report says

City council endorsed the course of action after receiving an in-private update. They also approved administration investigating alternative operations on the Metro Line, should that become necessary.

Laughlin said the city is committed to maintaining current LRT service in the meantime.

The 2014 opening date was pushed back several times because of issues with the Thales signalling system. Since opening in September 2015, the line hasn’t been running the way it was designed.

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