More delays as route options for Calgary’s Green Line LRT not ready to be revealed

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WATCH: It's considered the largest public works project in Alberta's history but we are nowhere close to major construction starting on the Green Line LRT. As Jill Croteau reports, there was an unexpected delay in releasing new plans – Dec 17, 2019

It was an unexpected hurdle at Tuesday’s Green Line LRT expansion committee meeting in Calgary.

Councillors and Calgarians gathered in city hall chambers in anticipation of seeing options for the project.

Coun. Shane Keating admitted he was under the impression the Stage 1 alignment options were going to be revealed.

“We thought we would look at three scenarios, have a month and come back and make [a] final decision,” Keating said. “But in those changes, there are select spots along the line that need more details, in-depth engagement.”

READ MORE: Should Calgary’s Green Line be split into 2 legs? Committee considering options

Those spots include the River District, the bridge over the river, Centre Street and Eau Claire. According to Green Line general manager Michael Thompson, the blueprints won’t be unveiled until those issues are worked out.

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“What we are realizing is we need more time to talk to stakeholders and run over the details with council,” Thompson said.

A workshop behind closed doors will take place at the end of January 2020 with a more detailed plan presented to the public in March. Those representing stakeholders in the downtown core suggest a project of this magnitude begs for further discussion.

Guy Huntingford, the director of strategic initiatives for NAIOP, a commercial real estate association, said he was concerned the project was being rushed.

“For us to take another three to six months, this project is going to be something that defines the city for a century,” Huntingford said. “Is that an unreasonable request? I don’t think so.”

READ MORE: Calgary should focus on BRT instead of LRT in light of Green Line uncertainty: councillors

Green Line LRT advocates want the project to move forward faster.

Jeff Binks said consultations have been robust enough.

“The longer it drags on, the longer the conversation goes,” Binks said. “We need council to be focused. We were under the impression that’s what this committee was created to do was to give council that focus and that should be on delivering as close to the 2017 vision as possible.”

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Keating said he is confident the delay increases the confidence and credibility to get the project back on track.

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