Edmonton

Edmonton's Stadium LRT station needs $27M rehab, councillor says

Safer, cleaner LRT stations may be in Edmonton's future. One of the first to be considered for needed upgrades is Stadium Station northeast of downtown on 111th Avenue and 84th Street.

'Now's the time it should be brought forward,' Coun. Tony Caterina says

The LRT station serving Commonwealth Stadium and surrounding residential areas is on the table for safety and esthetic upgrades. (Google)

Edmonton transit users may look forward to safer, cleaner commutes if council agrees to renovate existing LRT stations along the Capital Line.

One of the first on the radar is the Stadium LRT Station northeast of downtown, on 111th Avenue and 84th Street.

On Tuesday, as council began publicly discussing the 2019-22 capital budget, Coun. Tony Caterina noted the project was eligible for design funding only.

Actual construction money to renovate the station wasn't included in the proposed budget.

"That's not sufficient," Caterina said. "We've been talking about this station and the Coliseum for many, many years, and now's the time it should be brought forward."

He said the 40-year-old LRT station needs to be safer and more welcoming to the public if the city expects more people to take transit. 

Better lighting, easier access and services like cafés, newspaper stands and shops will attract transit users, Caterina said.

Caterina requested that the full project be included for potential funding in the upcoming $4.3-billion budget.

The design is estimated to cost $1.5 million with construction projected to be $27 million.

'Critical link'

Caterina said high pedestrian traffic from the LRT to events at Commonwealth Stadium is a major reason to move forward.

The station will be vital for the future residential development east of Commonwealth Stadium on the Muttart Lands, he said.

"It's going to be a critical link in our LRT system and moving the city forward in our plans to become more dense," he said. "This is the time now to combine the Stadium station rehab, rebuild there, along with all the other things that are going on in the general area."

Stadium LRT Station upgrades are on the list of projects potentially funded with debt financing, along with the Terwillegar Expressway and Lewis Farms Recreation Centre and Library.

Also in transportation and transit, Coun. Michael Walters raised a motion to add design dollars for an LRT station on 40th Avenue. 
The 40-year-old Stadium LRT Station serves as a portal for people attending sports and entertainment events at Commonwealth Stadium. (City of Edmonton)

He said the original design of the Capital Line included the station, but it was later removed.

He noted that without a train stop, people are driving south to park their vehicles at the Century Park park and ride and in a way negating the point of an LRT.

He's also heard concerns from principals at Harry Ainlay and Louis St. Laurent schools who say students need safer access to transit.

"It better integrates with the community, it serves two significant high school populations who are mostly transit users," Walters said. 

Design work for that LRT station is $3 million and listed under the unfunded projects.

Edmontonians can give their feedback on the proposed budget at a public hearing Nov. 15 at city hall.

@natashariebe

About the Author

Natasha Riebe

Journalist

Natasha Riebe landed at CBC News in Edmonton after radio, TV and print journalism gigs in Halifax, Seoul, Yellowknife and on Vancouver Island. Please send tips in confidence to natasha.riebe@cbc.ca.

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