Construction season is ramping up in Edmonton, with about 250 active projects at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion on the books this year.
Some of the major projects that will continue this season include the Yellowhead Freeway conversion project, Terwillegar Drive expressway, 50 Street grade separation, Valley Line SE and West, Coronation Recreation Centre and five supportive housing projects.
“Our construction program helps position the city and the region for a stronger economic recovery. Construction is truly a sign of growth,” said Adam Laughlin, deputy city manager of Integrated Infrastructure Services with the City of Edmonton.
“We know that construction can be disruptive. We know that this impacts the infrastructure that many citizens rely on,” Laughlin said.
“But it also provides much-needed jobs for Edmontonians and local companies. Whenever you see construction, you’re seeing the future of Edmonton being built, piece by piece, kilometre by kilometre, by the hard work of thousands of people.”
When it comes to LRT construction throughout the city, Laughlin said this spring marks the fist major construction season for Marigold Infrastructure Partners, the contractor for the Valley Line West from downtown to Lewis Farms.
Funding for the LRT south from Century Park to Ellerslie Road has been secured. Laughlin said people can expect to see early work this year, with the bulk of the construction in the years to come.
The Metro Line continues its expansion with construction on two new stations at Blatchford, Laughlin said. And TransEd has committed to having the Valley Line SE operational this summer.
“There are some significant city-shaping projects that are happening and it’s a reflection of the ambitious infrastructure agenda that council has,” Laughlin said.
In addition to the major projects, the city will also work on over 110 km of roads and sidewalks, 11 km of alleys, 10 neighbourhood renewal projects, seven trail renewals and 16 park and playground projects. Laughlin said over 30 km of gravel roads will also be paved.
“We’re connecting people to their environment by building greener and building for everyone, whether they walk, bike, roll or drive,” he said at a news conference in the downtown core Friday afternoon.
Laughlin was speaking from 103 Avenue where work has been underway between 100 and 101 streets. He said that work is set to be done by the end of the year.
While the project is smaller by comparison, he said it will have a big impact and benefit when it comes to connecting downtown between the Ice District, Royal Alberta Museum, Winspear Centre, the Citadel, Art Gallery of Alberta, City Hall, Stanley A. Milner Library, restaurants, hotels, offices and the LRT.
Other projects in the downtown core include the civic precinct project, which is anticipated to be complete in time for summer festival season. Construction is also slated to begin on the Centennial Plaza redevelopment behind the Stanley A. Milner Library.
Work to spruce up the city will also be done again this year, with the goal of planting more than 30,000 trees and shrubs.
Road closures and disruptions around the construction sites are to be anticipated throughout the season. Information on the closures and detours can be found on the city’s traffic disruption map on its website.