Two Edmonton LRT projects receive federal, provincial funding commitments

March 14, 2019
The Valley Line West and Metro Line Northwest LRT projects will received a combined C$2.2 billion and add a combined 9.6 miles of LRT to Edmonton’s network.

The city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada received financial commitments from the federal and provincial governments March 11 that will support two new light-rail transit (LRT) extensions. The funding, which totals a combined C$2.2 billion (US$1.66 billion), will go toward the Valley Line West and the Metro Line Northwest LRT projects. The funds are provided through the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan and the province’s Climate Leadership Plan. 

Infrastructure Canada said both projects will significantly improve Edmonton’s LRT system by extending service to new areas of the city, improving the rider experience, increasing accessibility and laying the groundwork for future expansion and growth.

As one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson explains planning and building to meet that growth is one of the driving factors behind the LRT expansions.

“We are undertaking the most ambitious expansion of our LRT network in our history so we can grow smart and sustainably and keep more than a million people moving,” said Mayor Iveson. “Today's announcement is a true representation of partnership between all levels of government, a partnership that is needed in order to continue to make valuable investments like these that will benefit the generations to come.”

The Valley Line West LRT project consists of the second and next stage of the Valley Line construction. The project involves extending the line by approximately 14 km (8.6 miles) from downtown Edmonton to the west-end community of Lewis Farms. Canada will provide approximately C$948 million (US$712.5 million) for the project, while Alberta will provide C$1.04 billion (US$780 million) and the city of Edmonton will contribute C$637 million (US$478.76 million) toward the project.

The Metro Line Northwest LRT Extension project is the first stage of an expansion of the Metro Line and involves extending the line by approximately 1.5 km (.93 miles) from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to the Blatchford development. Canada will provide approximately C$127 million (US$95 .45 million) for the project, while Alberta will provide C$131 million (US$98.46 million) and the city of Edmonton will contribute C$69.6 million (US$52.3 million) toward the project.

The city said it can finalize its municipal funding requirements for both projects and bring them to the City Council for consideration this spring now that federal and provincial funding is in place. Additionally, procurement of contractors to perform the work may proceed now that funding has been secured.

Edmonton says the process to select a contractor for the Valley Line West LRT project will take approximately one year followed by another five to six years of construction. Completing the design and selecting a contractor for the Metro Line Northwest LRT extension is expected to take a year followed by four years of construction and commissioning. Construction on both projects is anticipated to begin as early as 2020.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.