Detailed LRT expansion plans revealed

The Bonnie Doon traffic circle will be history if Edmonton city council approves a proposed concept plan for the southeast LRT.
This map shows existing and new routes for the Edmonton LRT system. ((City of Edmonton))

The Bonnie Doon traffic circle will be history if Edmonton city council approves a proposed concept plan for the southeast LRT.

The change was included in concept plans for the west and southeast expansion lines released Thursday by city transportation officials. The plans outline the locations of tracks and stations along the lines.

A drawing depicts the proposed elevated LRT station for West Edmonton Mall. ((City of Edmonton))
In Bonnie Doon, the traffic circle would be replaced with a regular four-way intersection and 83rd St. would be reduced to one lane each way south of 82nd Ave.

The plans also include a new station near 133rd St. in Glenora and a 13-block elevated track to take trains over busy 170th Street next to West Edmonton Mall.

The cost of the entire expansion, including the downtown connector route between the west and southeast line and the line to NAIT, is now estimated at $3.4 billion.

The downtown connector will bring the west and southeast routes together, making it possible for someone to travel from Lewis Estates all the way to Mill Woods on the same train.

The city's goal was to have all the lines completed by 2016 but the failed Expo bid means the expansion may be delayed by a year or two.

City general transportation manager Bob Boutilier plans to go through the plans and see what pieces can be started right away.

Low-floor trains would travel down the middle of Stony Plain Road. ((City of Edmonton))
"Do we need all the stations on opening day? No … do we need 46 cars on opening day? Well, no. Can we reduce that?" Boutilier asked.

"I'm going through that process now to say if you don't want it fully functional on the first day, I have to at least make it operationally functional."

A delay of a year or two on full completion of the line could actually help because the city would incur fewer overtime costs, Boutilier said. But he believes extending the deadline any longer is not acceptable.

The proposals will be discussed during a public hearing at city hall on Dec. 8.

City council will receive a report on Dec.10 outlining what financing is available to help fund the expansion.