January 31, 2019 1:58 am
Updated: January 31, 2019 7:09 pm

Calgary’s Green Line LRT project green lit after $3B funding secured

Minister Joe Ceci, Premier Rachel Notley and Mayor Naheed Nenshi green lit the Green Line LRT project in Calgary on Wednesday.

Global News
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The $3-billion funding agreement between the Government of Alberta and the federal Liberals for Calgary’s Green Line LRT project was officially signed and green lit on Wednesday.

The province and feds are each contributing $1.53 billion for the first construction phase of a train that would run from 16 Avenue N. in Crescent Heights to 126 Avenue S.E. in Shepard.

The agreement finalized the approximately $4.6 billion investment by

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The agreement finalized the approximately $4.6 billion investment which will be shared by all three levels of government, with the City of Calgary coughing up about $1.6 billion.

WATCH: PM Trudeau announces federal government will invest $1.53 billion in Calgary’s green line LRT

Alberta’s government called the Green Line the “most extensive single transit project” in the province’s history.

“It is a fundamentally transformational, fundamentally important investment for this city and one that really is about acknowledging where we’re going in the future,” Premier Rachel Notley said in front of a utility construction site for the project at 10 Avenue S.E. and MacLeod Trail S.E. on Wednesday.

Notley said, with the development, 30,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions can be eliminated each year — what the City of Calgary said is equivalent to 6,000 vehicles.

“It’s good for the economy, it’s good for the community, it’s great for the environment, and it’s great for everyone in Calgary because great cities have great transit systems and the foresight to build them,” Notley said.

READ MORE: Could a scrapped Alberta carbon tax derail the Green Line LRT expansion?

The timing of the announcement was not linked to the yet-to-be-scheduled provincial election, according to the premier.

She said she wanted to have the deal completed in the fall of 2018.

Notley said the province’s portion is funded through carbon tax revenues. She cautioned if that money isn’t used to fund the LRT project, then the province would plunge deeper in debt.

United Conservative Party (UCP) leader Jason Kenney said he would scrap the carbon tax if elected, but tweeted Wednesday that the Green Line would be built.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the first stage of the project will create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs — and it will be used by 60,000 riders, according to Notley — when it is scheduled to open in 2026.

“Today is different because the money is in place,” he said, calling it the biggest infrastructure project in Calgary’s history.

Nenshi is confident construction can start in 2020, regardless of who is premier.

“This train,” he said with a pause, “has left the station.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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