Edmonton clears “last true hurdle” for Valley Line West LRT

With the completion of the provincial review, the Edmonton’s west Valley Line LRT has passed the final step of approval form the province. 

In a letter to Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, Minister of Transportation Ric McIver noted “a few concerns” with the LRT line.

“The review raised concerns related to the technical considerations around light-rail vehicle purchases and future integration with the Southeast Valley Line,” he wrote in the letter that was posted to his Facebook page on Friday. 

“I understand the city is working on solutions to mitigate both risks,” he wrote, adding that if the city is open to work with the province “to enhance communication and oversight then the province will execute the West Valley Line funding agreement immediately.”

Letter to Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson from Minister of Transportation Ric McIver regarding the completion of the province’s review of the LRT project in the city. (Ric McIver/ Facebook )

Councillor Andrew Knack said this is great news. 

“This was really the last true hurdle that would have been in front of us,” Knack said.  

“While the province has many times in the last year and a bit reaffirmed their commitment to wanting to support this project and even more so during the pandemic because they wanted to get people working, they still wanted to do their due diligence so they were doing that review.”

Mckenzie Kibler, press secretary for McIver, said the city and province should come to an agreement in the next couple of weeks. 

“We just have a few things to iron out and then we will be executing our funding agreement for the project,” he said. 

When the Valley Line is fully complete, it will run 27 kilometres between Mill Woods in southeast Edmonton and the west-end community of Lewis Farms. The west end of the line connects 102 St. downtown to the Lewis Farms Transit Centre. 

The west leg of the line is worth 2.67 billion. The federal government committed $1 billion and the the province’s funding agreement is $1.47 billion.

The remaining will be funded by the city.

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