Edmonton's construction season peaks with Valley Line LRT disruptions
'This year and next year are massive construction seasons,' says Valley Line spokesperson
The first phase of the Valley Line LRT is now under construction. And with nearly all of the work happening at once, it's already making for some major traffic slowdowns and plenty of noise.
He knows it's going to be a hectic summer on the city's roads, but he says it's necessary to get the 13-kilometre rail corridor ready on time for December 2020.
"This year and next year are massive construction seasons," Heuman said.
"After that, we're laying track, we're running electrical. It does ease the burden on the citizens dramatically at that point. It has to happen in order to make the time frames."
Some of the summer's construction hotspots include:
Mill Woods (66th Street)
Noise-blocking walls are being installed along 66th Street over the next six to eight weeks.
Summer festivals unaffected
Festivals at Churchill Square will not change locations. Construction on the square and on 102nd Avenue begins in August, when festivals wrap for the season.
Operations facility being built
The Gerry Wright Operations and Maintenance Facility is being built along 51st Avenue and 75th Street.
The stretch of 75th Street between Whitemud Drive and Argyll Road is down to single lanes as waterlines are installed, elevated guideway foundations are laid and LRT construction is completed.
Added danger for cyclists?
Victor Gobeil, a 50th Street resident and regular cyclist in the Mill Woods area, said Wednesday the construction is making his daily commute more difficult as drivers navigate the traffic changes.
"It poses a bit more risk — I've practically got hit a couple of times because people are figuring out the new lanes," Gobeil said. "But if it's for three years, people are going to have to get used to it."
Fellow cyclist Adam Erdely, who was riding his bike near the future Millbourne-Woodvale LRT station Wednesday evening, said it will all be worth it in the end.
"I'll be glad when it's done but until then, it's going to slow down a lot of things," Erdely said. "But in the long run ... it'll make things a lot faster to get around town."
With files from Zoe Todd