Stony Plain Road recommended for west LRT

Stony Plain Road was announced Thursday as part of the proposed route for the new western leg of Edmonton LRT. Under the proposal recommended by city staff, the line would also connect downtown with the new proposed southeast line.
City of Edmonton staff are recommending this route for the proposed western line of the LRT. (City of Edmonton)
Stony Plain Road will be part of the proposed route for the new western leg of Edmonton LRT, it was announced Thursday. 

Under the proposal recommended by city staff, the line would also connect downtown with the new proposed southeast line.

"This will be a single line," said city transportation general manager Bob Boutilier. "The west LRT will connect into the southeast LRT through the downtown system. It's a stand-alone, above-ground system. It will link into the current LRT system at various stations and locations."

Under the proposal, the route would start in the west at Lewis Estates, go east along 87th Avenue, north on 156th Street, and then continue east towards downtown along Stony Plain Road and 104th Avenue, ending at Grant MacEwan College.

The southeast route would start at the Mill Woods Town Centre, travelling on 66th Street, connecting with 75th Street, then taking a number of streets to cross the river on a bridge that either replaces the Cloverdale footbridge or runs next to it. The two routes would then meet up via a connection in downtown Edmonton. 

Under the proposal, the new route would use low-floor stations and trains.

"The objective there is to go from the railroad-style LRT that you currently see into something that is more attuned to what you'd see in Europe and blends in with the neighbourhood," Boutilier said.

Originally, city staff had proposed running the light rail transit line from Lewis Estates along 87th Avenue, crossing the river, and meeting up with Health Sciences station on the south LRT line. Another version would have had the route travel south from 87th Avenue down 159th or 149th Street, cross the river over the Quesnell Bridge and eventually connect with the South Campus LRT.

But those proposals upset residents who lived in those neighbourhoods.

Council will review the recommendations at a public hearing in November. The city will hold public information sessions on the proposed routes later this month.

Seven stations are proposed for the west LRT route, six for the southeast leg.

Edmonton estimates it will cost $900 million to $1.2 billion to build each line. The city currently has no funding in place to build either of these routes.