Taking shape: a quick Valley Line Southeast tour!

Here are some pics at key locations to give you a sense of what’s building—both infrastructure and excitement—along the Valley Line Southeast LRT line.

The City of Edmonton and TransEd Partners are well into construction season 2019. Much of the work is underground, getting drainage and electrical in place. But up on main stage, it’s beginning to look like an actual LRT system.

Take a look:

101 Street closure

We start downtown at 101 Street, which was recently closed for 4 weeks to complete the new intersection. Above, you can see workers smoothing out bedding sand in order to place paving stones for the new crosswalk. You’ll also see the embedded rail in the road. This will be a common sight along the Valley Line, as the new low-floor style train runs mostly in road right-of-way.

 

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Here’s a wider shot giving more of a sense of how the intersection comes together. Having the decorative paving stones or similar aesthetics was part of the Valley Line’s Sustainable Urban Integration (SUI) guide. SUI is a set of design guidelines for the entire project, worked out with communities during public engagement to ensure the new LRT fits into the character of local neighbourhoods.

 

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Off to the park! Looking south over the river valley, work is taking place on the elevated guideway that will form the southern approach for the new Tawatinâ Bridge (Tawatinâ is Cree for ‘valley’). The bridge will feature rail running in both directions, with a pedestrian/cyclist shared-use path underneath.

 

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In this shot taken from the north side of the river valley, you can see the main bridge pier being built on the left. The foundation of this pier was delayed when an unknown mass of concrete was encountered during early construction.

 

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Now, into an actual neighbourhood: Strathearn. This is a wide shot of some of the work on 95 Avenue. TransEd recently closed 95 Avenue to road traffic until the end of the year to accelerate construction in the area.

 

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A close up of the same area. Rebar cages have been installed at the corner of 95 Avenue and 85 Street. These cages are the foundations for the future Traction Power Substation—a small building that works as an electrical converter, providing power to the LRT.

 

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Looking west along 95 Avenue, note the grey pathway down the centre. This is the future duct bank, where the cables and communications systems for the LRT line are secured. The white round stumps to the right are the bases of the future catenary system—basically, the poles that connect the train to the power system.

 

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Final stop, Wagner, where the superstructure of the future Davies Station has begun to take shape. Davies Station is the only LRT station on the Valley Line Southeast. All other locations are low-floor ‘stops’, with heated shelter areas to keep Edmontonian fingers and toes toasty mid-winter.

 

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And here’s what the station is to look like, including the glass art by Shan Shan Sheng. One of the most striking features of the Valley Line project, the station will be a stand-out piece of architecture gracing Edmonton southeast.
Hope you enjoyed this little trip. We’ll check back in soon! :)

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4 Comments
  1. karen doyle
    2 weeks ago

    I am in such agreement with the City on its lrt lines. Can’t wait for this southeast leg to open and I’m currently sharing the Century Park stop with thousands of other commuters – many of whom will, like me, use this line instead – giving some breathing room to CenturyPark. Can’t wait for more. This is the only answer in Edmonton’s urban sprawl, not to mention a significant impact on the side of the environment. Kudos to you Edmonton!

  2. Jill
    1 day ago

    Notice the building full of seniors who’ve been dealing with construction noise, debris, bus route issues, lack of egress to their own building, and access to services for almost 3 years now! The loud bangs and constant beeping have been great for those with heart issues. All so that they can not use the station that will be too far away for most of them to walk to and listen to trains going by constantly. Showing great respect for the people who helped build this city, as usual!! Well done picking on a group of low income Edmontonians.

  3. Quinn Nicholson
    6 hours ago

    Hey Karen,
    Great to hear the enthusiasm, and we totally agree about urban sprawl! Building better City density is a big part of the Valley Line SE’s (and all our new LRT) mission. Better density will mean more efficient use of taxpayer dollars for infrastructure like roads, drainage, and waste collection (the further out you sprawl, the more these things cost in taxes)… and the creation of new local businesses and services that will be able to afford to setup near the new population centres. Imagine a day when you can grocery shop a few times a week by LRT, instead of having to drive to the nearest supermarket. We’re getting there!

  4. Quinn Nicholson
    6 hours ago

    Hi Jill,
    We hear you–construction season isn’t much fun. We’re constantly working to improve conditions for nearby residents during construction periods, but, yes, it’s tough when the LRT line runs right past your front door. We’ve even worked with TransEd, our partners on this project, to provide a free shuttle bus servicing the Strathearn neighborhood during the intense construction this year along 95 Avenue. As for the trains, these are low-floor trains that typically make less noise than vehicle traffic.

    If there’s more you feel we could be doing, please feel free to contact us at lrtprojects@edmonton.ca. We’re always willing to listen.

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