Two new light rail transit (LRT) extensions took a giant leap forward on Monday, March 11, 2019 following major funding commitments from the federal and provincial governments.
Building on the November 2018 commitment from the Government of Alberta, the Valley Line West and the Metro Line are nearer than ever to construction with over $2 billion being invested by both levels of government.
Through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan, the Government of Canada is providing approximately $948 million for the Valley Line West LRT and approximately $127 million for the Metro Line Northwest LRT, totalling over $1 billion for both projects. Additionally, the Government of Alberta has reaffirmed its commitment of approximately $1.17 billion towards both projects through the Climate Leadership Plan. This includes approximately $1.04 billion for the Valley Line West LRT and approximately $131 million for the Metro Line Northwest LRT.
The funding announcement was made March 11 at a news conference held at the Lewis Farms Transit Centre, the future end of the line on the Valley Line West. The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Mr. Jon Carson, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Edmonton-Meadowlark, and His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton came together to announce this tremendous investment in Edmonton transportation.
Speaking to a full house, including many members of the project teams, each level of government spoke to the need for reliable and innovative transit infrastructure in Edmonton. With a projected population of 2 million in the next 50 years, this funding confirms the federal and provincial commitment to supporting smart and sustainable growth in large cities such as Edmonton. The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi also found time to speak to the tremendous investment in Edmonton transit and what it means for the future of our city.
These two major extensions will open up key travel routes in the city, connecting Edmontonians to destinations such as Blatchford on the Metro Line, and the Misericordia Hospital and West Edmonton Mall on Valley Line West. As the city grows, so too will our desire to reach services, shopping centres, schools, communities and the downtown core in an efficient, reliable and sustainable manner.
The next step for these projects rests with us. The City will now seek to finalize municipal funding requirements for both projects and bring them to City Council for consideration this spring. The City is moving forward with procuring the contractors to extend the Valley Line by 14 kilometers from downtown to Lewis Farms and the Metro Line by 1.5 kilometers into Blatchford.
Once all the funding is in place, it will take about one year to select a contractor for the Valley Line West LRT project, and another five to six years to complete construction. It will take about one year to complete design and select a contractor for the Metro Line Northwest LRT extension into Blatchford, and another four years to complete construction and commissioning. Construction on both projects is anticipated to begin as early as 2020.
The expansion of these two lines is critical to how we will live and move as a city and region that is now looking ahead to a future population of 2 million people.
For more info about both projects, please visit: