Edmonton·Video

Province commits $1.04B to extend LRT to west Edmonton

The Alberta government announced Thursday it is committing $1.04 billion to help cover the cost of extending the Valley Line LRT to Lewis Estates in west Edmonton, and $131 million to expand the Metro Line to Blatchford.

Another $131 million has been committed to expanding the Metro Line to Blatchford

Mayor Don Iveson and Premier Rachel Notley at an announcement Thursday of more provincial money to extend the LRT in Edmonton. (Trevor Wilson/CBC)

The Alberta government announced Thursday it is committing $1.04 billion to help cover the cost of extending the Valley Line LRT to Lewis Estates in west Edmonton.

As well, the province is committing $131 million to expand the Metro Line to the Blatchford development on the former municipal airport lands, Premier Rachel Notley said. The total cost of that project is $328 million.

The money is coming from the province's climate leadership plan.

The Alberta government is investing $1 billion, or 40 per cent, of the city's expected $2.6 billion Valley Line West LRT expansion cost.

In its first year of operation, the Valley Line will eliminate 4,000 tonnes of emissions and will create "good mortgage-paying jobs," Notley said.

"The west and southeast [LRT] extensions will create about 37,000 direct and indirect jobs in Alberta," she said.

The projects are made possible through the NDP's climate leadership plan, which "some folks" would like to see cancelled, Notley said.

"If we listen to them all of this construction would be stopped," Notley said. "We don't agree with that approach."

The 27-kilometre Valley Line LRT, when completed, will connect Mill Woods in the southeast to west Edmonton via the downtown.

"I'm very excited to be with you all here today on what is a truly historic day for our city and our region," Mayor Don Iveson said.

The Valley Line will make a big difference for "tens of thousands" of Edmontonians, he said. 
When completed the Valley Line LRT will run 27 kilometres connecting Mill Woods via downtown to Lewis Estates. (City of Edmonton)

Not only will the line help with commuting, but it will travel to neighbourhoods that have not been well-served by public transit in the past, he said.

The hope is an easier commute may encourage more people to leave their cars at home and use transit, added Iveson.

The LRT will get someone from Lewis Estates to downtown in about 30 minutes, said Iveson, which is a lot quicker than even an express bus today.

"Each year we get a little bit closer to seeing an LRT network that is fully built out and touches every corner of this city and ultimately our region," said Iveson. 

"With today's announcement we're well on our way to doubling the amount of light rail in our city after decades of under investment."

The full line is to be completed in 2027-28.

Valley Line West is expected to move 60,000 Edmontonians between downtown and Lewis Estates every day. 

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