$300 million announced for LRT expansion and improvements
The northeast line of Edmonton's LRT system will be expanded from Clareview to the proposed Gorman Town Centre, government officials announced Thursday.
The city of Edmonton is matching the $100 million each in funding from the federal and provincial governments.
The $300 million in funding will also allow the city to lengthen station platforms on the south LRT to accommodate five-car trains as well as installing signal system upgrades and investing in three new park and ride lots at stations on lines that are proposed for future expansion.
The northeast extension will bring the line out into an area the city has targetted for future residential development. The hope is that developments will pop up around the station.
Thursday's funding announcement means design and land use planning will be accelerated. The plan is to have the line by the fall of 2011, though some additional work might push that over to 2012, said Brian Latte, the city's manager of transportation planning.
"It's a very aggressive schedule," he said.
Some road construction will also need to be done to bring drivers to the new station, Latte said.
A large lot planned for the new station will give people in northeast Edmonton other place to park their cars and get on the LRT, he said.
The city just opened up two new stations on its south extension. The current expansion will be complete by April 2010 when trains go to the Century Park Station. The city is currently doing preliminary work on the northwest line that will eventually take the LRT to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.