City invests in construction

It’s construction season in Edmonton. That means hard hats, pylons and temporary lane closures. It also means 13,000 jobs and partnerships with 300 local and Edmonton-based businesses. 

“When we build Edmonton, we put businesses and people to work,” said Adam Laughlin. “The $1 billion that will be spent this year on capital construction is an investment in this city we love. It’s an investment in our future.” 

Laughlin, the Deputy City Manager of Integrated Infrastructure Services, made his comments at a news conference at Blatchford to kick off the 2021 construction season. 

Watch the entire City of Edmonton construction season update here.

With more than 260 projects slated for this construction season, no job is too big or small for the talented crews doing the work.

Jobs

There are  268 projects on the go this construction season. 

Yellowhead Trail Freeway Conversion in the north, Terwillegar Drive Expansion in the south, Jasper Ave revitalization downtown, and park and neighbourhood renewal across Edmontons are some of the highlights Laughlin pointed to.

He also connected construction to construction workers.

“We estimate that our projects will employ around 13,000 people with many Edmonton-based companies benefiting either directly or indirectly,” said Laughlin.

There are more than 110 km of local roadways and sidewalks being constructed during 2021. And, 3000 trees being planted, too!

“Through all of these important projects, we are providing stability for Edmontonians during an unpredictable time. When we invest in building Edmonton, we invest in our region’s businesses and create jobs.”

Here’s a new video that highlights some of the important work:

93 percent  of the City’s capital projects are on budget, with almost 80 percent on schedule. 

City Plan in action 

The City Plan was released last year. The document (kinda long, very readable!) is all about planning and building for what’s to come in Edmonton. For construction projects in the city, it means building roads, bridges, parks, facilities, LRT and neighborhoods that are sustainable. 

Edmonton will welcome one million more people in the decades to come. 

Finished  Blatchford townhomes are visible in foreground of this aerial shot taken May 4, 2021. Phase 2 construction is now underway.

Laughlin called Blatchford “one of the projects that speaks to our City Plan so directly.”

“Blatchford’s vision is to create one of the world’s largest sustainable communities that will be home to up to 30,000 Edmontonians,” Laughlin said. 

“We are on our way to achieving this ambitious goal, including designing and building the first stage of this neighbourhood that aims to use 100% renewable energy, be carbon neutral, and empower its residents to pursue a range of sustainable lifestyle choices.”

Construction continues at Blatchford, but families have already started to move into their finished homes. Once complete, Blatchford will welcome 30,000 Edmontonians.

Things are taking shape at Blatchford. 

Crews are busy finishing up the first stage of the development with landscaping, sidewalks and cycle tracks. Next, they’ll move onto the second stage that includes the grading and removal of existing infrastructure, underground utility work and the installation of roads and sidewalks.

Living with construction, and thank you 

Construction comes with some headaches along the way. It can take a long time, be  disruptive and is now noticeable to many Edmontonians working from home.

“We’re building for our future, but I want you to know that we aren’t forgetting about those of you experiencing construction right now,” said Laughlin. 

“This past year has been anything but normal for us all, so I want to thank you in advance for your patience and your understanding while we continue along with our busy construction season.”

Construction continues on Kinistinâw Park in the heart of The Quarters.

Government of Alberta

A number of City projects this season are funded by the Government of Alberta’s Municipal Stimulus Program. 

Earlier this year, the City received $115 million to help build more affordable housing, improve parks and playgrounds, rehabilitate industrial neighbourhoods and address major roadway infrastructure needs. 

“Seeing hard hats and work boots on construction sites across Edmonton means Albertans are working, “ said Ric McIver, Alberta Minister of Transportation and Municipal Affairs.

“From revitalizing parks and paving roads to widening Terwillegar Drive, turning the Yellowhead into a freeway, and building the new Valley Line West LRT, Alberta’s Recovery Plan is creating jobs and supporting growth and quality of life in our capital city.”

Check it out

Visit building.edmonton.ca to learn more about all of the City-led construction projects. There’s a cool interactive map that shows you the latest on all of the capital projects. Use the City’s current traffic disruptions map to help plan your route and commute, whether you’re driving, rolling, walking or running.

Editor’s note: The pic at the top of the post shows Adam Laughlin at a livestreamed construction season kickoff event at Blatchford on May 4, 2021. You might recognize him. Laughlin served as acting City Manager for a year and was the face of the City at COVID-19 news conferences. He’s now back in his job as Deputy City Manager, and is leading all things City construction.  

Adam Laughlin, Deputy City Manager, Integrated Infrastructure Services, May 4, 2021.