Edmonton

Latest report shows Valley Line construction falling further behind

Construction on the southeast leg of the Valley Line LRT is slipping further behind, according to the latest city report. 

The southeast leg was expected to open in late 2020

A rendering of the 13-kilometre Valley Line Southeast LRT, running from Mill Woods to downtown Edmonton. (City of Edmonton)

Construction on the southeast leg of the Valley Line LRT is slipping further behind, according to a new city report. 

TransEd, the company in charge of the line, had only completed 68 per cent of the work it was expected to by June 2019, according to the latest quarterly report. That means it's likely more than a year behind schedule, Ward 11 Coun. Mike Nickel said.

The expected completion date was December 2020.

When finished, the southeast leg will run from Mill Woods in the south to downtown. Nickel said he'd like to see construction in his south-side ward completed.

"I just want them out of my ward," he said.

TransEd spokesperson Sue Heuman said the update is a city report, and would not comment on it on Saturday.

"Our target service commencement date is Dec. 15, 2020, but we are trending late," Heuman said in an email. "We are working diligently on initiatives to improve the schedule."

The latest quarterly report states that the project remains on budget, and that the scope of the work hasn't changed.

But construction completion targets have gradually slid in recent years. In late 2016, the project was at 99 per cent, but that dropped to 80 per cent by the end of 2017. 

The project is being delivered through a public-private partnership that requires TransEd to meet certain milestones ⁠⁠— or face penalties if those milestones aren't met.

Funding for the line is shared, with $800 million coming from the City of Edmonton, $600 million from the province and $400 million from the federal government.

One of the ways the company has tried to make up time is by closing 95th Avenue in Strathearn, so work could be completed more quickly.

In early spring 2018, crews hit a large concrete mass on the north side of the river, where TransEd is building the Tawatinaw Bridge — a crossing for trains and pedestrians. Crews ended up finding a way to build around it.

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