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First cable stays go up on SE Valley Line LRT bridge in Edmonton

Click to play video 'Construction milestone for Tawatinâ Bridge on southeast Valley Line LRT' Construction milestone for Tawatinâ Bridge on southeast Valley Line LRT
WATCH ABOVE: Some major progress for the Valley Line LRT construction. As Nicole Stillger explains, crews have officially installed the first cable used to stabilize the line's bridge. – Jan 30, 2020

The first of seven cable stays is up on the Tawatinâ Bridge for the southeast Valley Line LRT.

The installation marks a milestone for the project.

“The city is really excited to see the progress TransEd has made in the couple of months,” said City of Edmonton project manager Chris Gentile.

This fall, the concrete bridge deck is expected to be complete, then track installation will begin.

The bridge will not only be used for the LRT — underneath a shared-use pathway will serve pedestrians and cyclists.

Delays plagued construction early on when a concrete block the size of a car was discovered under the river.

READ MORE: Edmonton councillors confirm more details on SE Valley Line LRT delay

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“[It was] very unexpected, nobody could have known it was there,” said TransEd spokesperson Dallas Lindskoog.

“It’s been a significant challenge. Much like this is the most significant structure and most iconic structure on the whole Valley Line — that event itself was absolutely the most significant event on the project.”

The line itself is public/private partnership, but it’s up to TransEd to construct and maintain the Valley Line LRT.

The eight-metre-wide path was supposed to be open May 2019, but officials say the timeline is now “sometime in 2021.”

READ MORE: Edmonton councillors confirm more details on SE Valley Line LRT delay

“There’s a direct knock-on effect from that concrete obstruction directly impacting the opening date of the shared-use pathway,” Lindskoog said.

He added the bridge is a complicated design and requires a lot of “extreme planning and careful execution” of the construction plan.

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The Tawatinâ Bridge in Edmonton on Jan. 30, 2020.
The Tawatinâ Bridge in Edmonton on Jan. 30, 2020. Eric Beck / Global News

Once complete, the bridge will be about 260 metres long.

The combined length of the seven stabilizing cables is about 8,500 metres.

The Valley Line LRT is expected to be operational in 2021.