Downtown Edmonton intersection to close for 4 weeks amid LRT construction

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Downtown Edmonton intersection to close for weeks amid LRT construction
WATCH ABOVE: Starting on Friday, the intersection at 101 Street and 102 Avenue will be closed for approximately four weeks due to Valley Line LRT construction. Vinesh Pratap explains what work will happen – May 9, 2019

LRT construction is leading to yet another road closure in Edmonton.

Starting at 9 a.m. Friday, the intersection at 101 Street and 102 Avenue will be closed for approximately four weeks, TransEd, the company in charge of the project, said in a media release Thursday.

This means drivers and cyclists will have to find another route. Every day, approximately 10,000 vehicles pass through the busy intersection in each direction. TransEd said pedestrians will still be able to walk through the intersection during the closure.

The closure is needed to accommodate construction of rail bed and the laying of rail for the Valley Line LRT.

“We think the public will be excited to see the progress being made in this area with the rail installation this spring,” Dean Heuman with TransEd said.

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Access to area parkades will also be affected. TransEd said drivers will be able to access the Scotia Place and Commerce Place parkades from Jasper Avenue heading north on 101 Street. The Enbridge parkade can be accessed from Rice Howard Way.

This is the first of a series of rolling closures that will take place at intersections along 102 Avenue, TransEd said. Multi-week closures along 102 Avenue are also planned at 97 Street and 100 Street over the summer, as work in the downtown core continues.

The latest closure comes amid other LRT-related headaches, including the complete closure of 95 Avenue.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s 95 Avenue to be closed for 2019 construction season

The closure of 95 Avenue between Connors Road and 85 Street began in late April and is meant to speed up completion of Valley Line work in the area.

The closure is scheduled to be in effect until the end of the 2019 construction season. TransEd said the complete closure will allow crews to get the work done a year faster than the existing timeline.

Project timeline and construction update

Stage 1 of the Valley Line LRT will connect downtown to Mill Woods.

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TransEd said Edmontonians can expect to see “real progress” on the project this year.

Track bed and rail will be laid along 83 Street, 85 Street, Connors Road and through the river valley, TransEd said. The laying of track bed and rail is scheduled to be “well underway” along 102 Avenue by the end of the year.

Construction inside the Bonnie Doon traffic circle “will result in a fully operational intersection by year’s end,” the company said.

The Tawatina Bridge will also start to take shape, with construction happening on both sides of the river to prepare for the installation of cable.

The line is expected to be operational in 2020, according to TransEd. However, a report presented to a city council committee last February stated the line was “trending late.”

READ MORE: Major Edmonton LRT maintenance will see station closed, service to NAIT suspended

TransEd admitted the Valley Line project was running behind schedule, but wouldn’t give a specific timeline. The company said it was looking at multiple options to try to get the LRT back on track.

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