March 11, 2019
The City of Edmonton is one step closer to building two new light rail transit (LRT) extensions following a funding commitment from the federal and provincial governments today.
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, announced a combined investment of over $2 billion in both the Valley Line West and the Metro Line Northwest LRT projects.
“Edmonton is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, and we are planning and building our city with this growth in mind. We are undertaking the most ambitious expansion of our LRT network in our history so we can grow smart and sustainably, and keep more than a million people moving,” said Mayor Iveson. “Today's announcement is a true representation of partnership between all levels of government, a partnership that is needed in order to continue to make valuable investments like these that will benefit the generations to come.”
The Government of Canada is providing over $1 billion for both projects through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan, including approximately $948 million for the Valley Line West LRT and approximately $127 million for the Metro Line Northwest LRT.
The Government of Alberta reaffirmed its commitment of approximately $1.17 billion towards both projects through the Climate Leadership Plan, including approximately $1.04 billion for the Valley Line West LRT and approximately $131 million for the first phase of the Metro Line Northwest LRT.
“Today’s funding commitments will allow the City to move forward with our plans to bring light rail transit to west and northwest Edmonton,” said Linda Cochrane, City Manager, City of Edmonton. “These projects are a major step in growing our LRT network, creating another transportation option for thousands of Edmontonians and providing better connections to where people live, work and play.”
With federal and provincial funding in place, the City can finalize its municipal funding requirements for both projects and bring them to City Council for consideration this spring. The City can also move forward with procuring the contractors that will extend the Valley Line by 14 kilometres from downtown to Lewis Farms in west Edmonton, and the Metro Line by 1.5 kilometres from NAIT into Blatchford.
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.