Edmonton gets $90M boost from province for transit projects

The City of Edmonton got a confidence boost to move forward on seven major infrastructure projects Thursday when it heard the province will contribute $90 million, including the Terwillegar Expressway.

Terwillegar Expressway to get $25M from Alberta Community Transit fund

A city rendering of the four-lane Terwillegar Expressway from the Whitemud to Anthony Henday Drive. (City of Edmonton)

The City of Edmonton got a financial boost for seven major infrastructure projects Thursday when the province announced it will contribute $90 million for transit initiatives, including $25 million for the Terwillegar Expressway. 

The Alberta Government announced money for 33 municipal projects from a $215 million pot of money over four years.

Called the Alberta Community Transit fund, the money is awarded to municipalities expanding their transit systems with green initiatives, including projects aimed at getting more people to take public transit and active modes of transportation, like cycling and walking.

In Edmonton, the money will go toward the following:

  • Upgrades at Stadium LRT Station
  • Preliminary planning & design of a new transit garage
  • Additional purchase of electric buses
  • Transit priority improvements to access Park & Ride facilities
  • Preliminary planning & design for a new LRT Station at 40 Ave
  • Preliminary planning & design for a new transit centre and Park & Ride facility at 50 Street
  • Upgrading Terwillegar Drive to an expressway

Coun. Tim Cartmell, a long-time proponent of the Terwillegar Expressway said the funding gives the city confidence to move forward.

"Very pleased first of all that Terwillegar Expressway was included on the ACT list," he told CBC News Thursday. "We're going to get a fairly significant amount of funding to support the transit and active transportation component on that Expressway, so good times, good days."

The ACT funding sets aside just over $24.5 million for the Terwillegar Expressway project, for which Cartmell has said he'd like to see the contract awarded by early next year.

Just last week, Edmonton council passed a motion urging the province for an answer to its application for funding it submitted in Dec. 2018.

Eddie Robar, branch manager of Edmonton Transit Service, said the money will help the city improve transit, specifically $14 million slated for a new garage.

"The planning and design of a new transit garage is a critical step for ETS to grow our service and would give us added flexibility and efficiency at other garages as well."

The province announced Thursday funding for 33 municipal projects, starting in 2019, and covering between 40 and 50 per cent of the total project costs.