Edmonton

City moves forward with design for Valley Line West LRT

The project manager for the Valley Line West LRT expansion says Edmontonians can have faith the city will choose a competent contractor to deliver the project.

'We have a solid team and we're confident that we're able to deliver the vision'

Edmontonians take a look at the completed preliminary design plans for the Valley Line West LRT expansion on Tuesday. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

The project manager for the Valley Line West LRT expansion says Edmontonians can have faith the city will choose a competent contractor to deliver the project.

"There's specific criteria we're looking for, and it's up to the teams to demonstrate that they're able to meet our expectations," Eva Cheung said Tuesday.

Last week, the City of Edmonton cut ties with Thales Canada Inc., the company behind the Metro Line LRT's problem-riddled signalling system.

Cheung said she's confident the Valley Line West LRT expansion will go smoothly.

"The city has a very rigorous and competitive … procurement process. We're always looking for the best teams that are out there," Cheung said.

"We have a solid team and we're confident that we're able to deliver the vision."

Valley Line West LRT project manager Eva Cheung says the city has a rigorous procurement process. (Scott Neufeld/CBC )

The year-long procurement process started in March, coinciding with the completion of the preliminary design. Procurement is expected to cost about $30.5 million.

Community members had a chance to take a look at the design plans Tuesday during an information session at the West End Christian Reformed Church.

The 14-kilometre Valley Line West will run from downtown to Lewis Farms, with long stretches of track on 104th Avenue, Stony Plain Road, 156th Street and 87th Avenue. The route includes 14 street-level stops plus elevated stations at Misericordia Hospital and West Edmonton Mall.

Valley Line West will make up roughly half of the overall Valley Line, which will cover a 27-kilometre route between Mill Woods and Lewis Farms.

Valley Line Southeast, between downtown and Mill Woods Town Centre, is currently under construction.

Trains are expected to run at neighbourhood speeds, with a total travel time of about 35 minutes from downtown to Lewis Farms.

"It's not just about movement of people, which is really important. But we see it as really important to tie in with the adjacent development, integrating with the communities, and really connecting people to where they want to go," Cheung said.

Watch: The preliminary design for the Valley Line West LRT is complete.

Edmontonians who went to Tuesday's information session had mixed reactions to the completed preliminary design.

Susan Box highlighted concerns surrounding Stony Plain Road that were brought up by community members throughout the design phase.

The track is set to run down the middle of Stony Plain Road, between 149th Street and 156th Street, leaving room for one eastbound and one westbound traffic lane.

Box said she often drives on Stony Plain Road.

"But I won't be because it will be too crowded," she said. "And I think the businesses, they're all going to close down there … Nobody can stop and shop."

Box said she thinks bus rapid transit would have been more flexible than LRT.

The Valley Line West LRT design features two elevated stops, including one at the Misericordia Hospital. (City of Edmonton)

Marian Brennan said she's pleased that lifted portions of track will allow for access to certain facilities, like the Misericordia.

"It looks like it's very well thought through and … I'm looking forward to seeing it come together," she said.