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Elevated sidewalk due to Edmonton’s Valley Line LRT concerns Strathearn resident

Click to play video: 'Elevated sidewalk due to Valley Line LRT a concern for Strathearn resident' Elevated sidewalk due to Valley Line LRT a concern for Strathearn resident
A Strathearn resident living along the new LRT route is not impressed with the impact to his property. He said he believes the elevated sidewalk is potentially a drainage issue and safety concern. Kim Smith reports – Jul 9, 2021

Edmonton’s new downtown-to-Mill Woods LRT line is expected to be open to the public by the end of the year, but a resident living along the route is not impressed with how it’s impacting his property.

Wayne Sortland, a resident of the Strathearn area for his entire life, said he’s not opposed to the Valley Line Southeast running in front of his house along 95 Avenue, but he has concerns about the elevated sidewalk.

Sortland believes the elevation will create a drainage issue and a safety concern.

“I’m worried that if a child coming down here or an older person falls into my yard then they could hurt themselves, so I want a railing,” he said.

Read more: Valley Line LRT extension from downtown Edmonton to Mill Woods further behind schedule: city report

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TransEd, the company building the line, said the elevation in front of the short stretch of homes along 95 Avenue, near 89 Street, was necessary to accommodate existing utilities under the road.

Dallas Lindskoog, a spokesperson for TransEd, said the retaining wall is not more than two feet high and therefore doesn’t need a railing to meet Alberta Building Code.

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Sortland said he’s also concerned about the water draining properly away from his house.

He said he’s planning on installing some wells around his basement windows to ensure the water drains away from his house. Sortland said his wife will also plant some bushes or flowers to absorb some of the potential water.

“We’re 65 and 64 years old and (it) seems like we’re responsible for doing all the upgrades,” Sortland said.

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READ MORE: Central Edmonton residents express anger over proposed LRT-related road closure

In a statement, Lindskoog said: “The front yard of these properties drain south to the back alley, and therefore the elevated sidewalk has not created a ‘dam’ that would cause north-flowing water to pond against the new retaining wall.”

Sortland said his front yard should be sloping towards the street.

“They’re not looking after the people who are living in the neighbourhood. A lot of people have moved. The houses are for rent.”

The city councillor for the area, Ben Henderson, said his office has recently become aware of the concerns and is looking into them.

Lindskoog said TransEd is not able to provide an exact date for when the Valley Line Southeast will be open, but that it’s aiming for before the end of the year.

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