We made it!
After four long years of construction the next major milestone on Edmonton’s road to urban sustainability is just ahead. While City Councillors and local media had a sneak preview last week, the official grand opening of at the new LRT Stations at Southgate and Century Park is scheduled for Saturday, April 24 2010.
Everyone is invited to attend the ceremonies at both locations. The Southgate ceremony starts at 10 am on Saturday; Century Park is at 10:30 am. We are closing the northbound lanes of 111th Street temporarily at both stations to accommodate spectators, transit enthusiasts and citizens of all walks of life. After the ceremonies the Edmonton Transit System (ETS) is hosting a community fair at both locations. The more the merrier – please come down and join the party.
Bus service to both locations is available, despite the road closure. Alternatively, take the LRT to South Campus and jump on a shuttle bus to Southgate or Century Park. LRT service is free from 9 am to 6 pm. LRT to Century Park won’t be available until 11 am, after the ceremonies.
Parking is also available at both venues. At Southgate, the administration at Southgate Centre Mall has graciously offered mall parking – for one day only! – to all patrons of the Southgate grand opening and community fair (please note: LRT parking will not be available at Southgate after April 24). Motorists can park at Southgate, take in the opening ceremony and check out the community fair inside the LRT station pedway and at the Southgate Mall centre food court.
At Century Park, motorists can park at the new temporary Park & Ride lot that’s opening 1,100 new stalls the same day, April 24. After the opening ceremony the ETS Community Fair continues until 5 pm at a nearby pavilion, with entertainment, tours, displays and a mini farmers’ market.
Free LRT service to both new stations begins at 11 am. Partygoers can jump on the train to shuttle back and forth between the parties at Southgate and Century Park, free of charge.
In the midst of all the merriment we’d do well to remember that four years is a long time to endure a major construction project, as residents, businesses and commuters of the 111th Street corridor can attest. The City of Edmonton owes its gratitude to all the people who put up with major disruptions for such a long time. Their contribution to the successful completion of the South LRT is invaluable. This is their celebration, and a testament to their patience and goodwill.
But the South LRT is also the product of a massive amount of work. So the City of Edmonton also thanks the hundreds of consultants and contractors who built the South LRT, and the taxpayers of Canada, Alberta and Edmonton for making their work possible.
Bottom line: the South LRT belongs to Edmontonians. Please use it. In 2007 the complete 7.6 km extension was projected to double LRT weekday ridership in Edmonton from 50,000 daily riders to 100,000. We are on track to meet that goal; help us get there.
Regular LRT service to Century Park begins Sunday, April 25 2010.