Valley Line West construction prep: Everything you need to know about building condition assessments

As the City of Edmonton gets ready to begin construction on Valley Line West LRT, we’re working hard to make sure property owners along the route are ready.

Building condition assessments are a key part of that work.

If you’re a property owner along the Valley Line West route, you may have already received a letter about these pre-construction assessments. If you haven’t yet received one and own property adjacent to the route, please expect a letter to arrive in the coming months.

So what do we look for?

These pre-construction surveys are done on buildings adjacent to the Valley Line West alignment.

ValleyLineWestMapApril2018

A team of two engineers visits the property and, with the permission of the owner, surveys both the inside and outside of the building. They look for and take pictures of any structural damage that exists before construction of the LRT begins. 

And why? The reason is simple: to protect property owners.

The engineers look for structural damage such as cracks in door frames.

The engineers look for structural damage such as cracks in door frames.

In the unlikely event that a building is damaged during adjacent LRT construction, the report provides a clear picture that can be used for a before-and-after comparison. This helps protect property owners by providing them proof of the condition of their building before construction began.

During the assessments, the engineers focus on the main floor and basement of a property, looking for cracks in the walls or near window and door frames, sloping sidewalks, damage to the foundation and any other visible structural damage. This information and accompanying photos are included in a report that provides a snapshot of the building’s condition before construction of the Valley Line West LRT. Property owners are also able to request a copy of the report for their own files. If the engineers discover major structural issues during their assessment, they’ll let the property owner know and recommend it be addressed.

So, what should you expect if you’re a property owner?

Keep an eye out for letters in the mail from the City of Edmonton. The first will inform you of the need to conduct a building condition assessment. Soon after that, a second letter will arrive that includes the details and timelines of the proposed assessment, along with the names and contact information of the engineers who would be assessing your property.

As a property owner, there’s no action required on your part. You will be provided with a timeframe during which to expect a visit from the engineers. Or, if you prefer, you can contact the engineers to arrange a specific appointment that best fits your schedule. And if they happen to miss you while they visit, they’ll leave a contact number for you to arrange an alternate time and date.

If you’re a tenant renting a home or other property along the Valley Line West alignment and receive one of these letters in the mail, please forward it to your landlord or property owner for them to follow up. And if you’re an owner in a condo building, your property management company is responsible for coordinating any assessments.

All in all, the process is painless and doesn’t require much action on the part of the property owner. You also have the right to refuse these engineers access to your property — but keep in mind that may make it difficult to prove any damage in the unlikely event it happens down the road.

If you want to learn more about Valley Line West LRT and the project’s history, visit our web page. You can also sign up for project updates straight to your inbox by joining our email list and selecting “Valley Line (Downtown to Lewis Farms).” 

Photo at top: Engineers survey the outside of a building along the Valley Line West LRT route.

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