Coming soon near you: Valley Line West LRT construction in Edmonton

The LRT is heading west. 

The City of Edmonton’s contractor, Marigold Infrastructure Partners, has begun early construction on the Valley Line West LRT. If you live, work or travel between downtown and Lewis Farms, you’ll start to notice construction activity along the route.

“The City is thinking about the future, but knows at the same time that for those of you living through the construction it is a very current experience,” said Kevin Pringle, who is the Partnerships Manager with the City of Edmonton. 

“A main priority is to work with you to keep you informed and to minimize impacts whenever possible.”

Building an LRT takes time 

At 14 kilometres in length, the Valley Line West is the biggest infrastructure project the City of Edmonton has built. There will be 14 stops, two stations and a new transit centre at West Edmonton Mall.

The City expects construction to take between five and six years. 

The City and its contractor are building the LRT through established neighbourhoods and transforming existing roadways. Big change means big construction. 

Here are some of the construction activities you can expect to see:

• widening and rebuilding roadways and sidewalks

• building and installing LRT tracks and platforms 

• rebuilding the bridge along Stony Plain Road and Groat Road so the LRT can travel on it 

• building an elevated guideway on 87 Avenue between 165 Street and 178 Street

• building elevated stations at West Edmonton Mall and Misericordia Hospital 

• building an LRT bridge over Anthony Henday Drive on 87 Avenue 

• building Operations and Maintenance Facilities at Gerry Wright Operations and Maintenance Facility site (Whitemud Drive and 75 Street) and Lewis Farms

Artist’s rendering of the bridge over Stony Plain Road and Groat Road.

Working with Marigold Infrastructure Partners

The City welcomed Marigold to the team in December 2020. 

Marigold is responsible for completing detailed design and building the LRT.  You’ll see them in the field actually building the project.  The City is never far and will work closely with Marigold to get the job done. Marigold will also let you know when construction happens nearby. 

So far, Marigold has mostly been doing geotechnical investigations, including drilling holes to test ground conditions along the route. This information will help in detailed design and construction planning. 

Marigold is the group of companies that are building Valley Line West. You’ll start to hear from Marigold once construction really gets going.

Answering common LRT construction comments and questions 

Thousands of Edmontonians live, work and travel the LRT route. 

The City has been planning and preparing for the project for almost a decade, including listening closely to what folks in the area have been saying: 

“Construction is disruptive”

It sure is. 

The City and its contractor will do their very best to ease the pain, but construction comes with noise, vibration and debris. You can also expect lane and road closures, as well as impacts to accesses, sidewalks and bus routes. The City will work with Marigold to keep you informed about these impacts and progress on the project.

“Is it necessary to have the entire route under construction the entire time?” 

Marigold is working on construction plans for the project, but it’s unlikely that the LRT will be built in one area at a time. The City expects that Marigold will tackle the project by bodies of work rather than locations. 

Think of it like building a home. 

Builders don’t typically complete one room at a time. Instead, they start with the foundation, then framing, electrical, and so on. 

This strategy helps to ensure the project is completed on budget and on time. 

“It’s going to be loud”

All contractors must follow the Community Standards Bylaw, which outlines requirements for construction hours and noise levels. Standard construction hours are: Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday and holidays,  9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  

There are instances when the City’s contractor can apply for permits to complete work outside of these hours. 

When noise levels exceed the maximum limits (65 dBA, which is similar to the volume of a normal conversation), the contractor must apply for an exemption to complete the work.

An artist’s rendering shows how 102 Avenue will be transformed by the project.

Here for you 

Valley Line West is an important part of the transit network in a city that can attract a million more people in the coming decades. 

The City’s approach throughout the project is simple: 

• work together through project construction

• keep you informed about progress and impacts

 • create opportunities for conversation and connection

• provide a variety of ways to learn more about the project 

• support Edmonton’s business community

You can expect timely and relevant project communications, including regular updates and opportunities for discussion. City and project staff are available to answer questions and concerns. The best way to get in touch is through the LRT Projects Information Centre by calling 780-496-4874 (voicemail) or emailing lrtprojects@edmonton.ca.  Marigold is also set up to answer your construction-related  questions. You can get in touch with them by calling 780-412-2183 or emailing public@marigoldinfra.ca

Editor’s note: The image at the top of the post shows an artist’s rendering of a downtown-bound LRT train at the Jasper Place Stop on 156 Street across from the Orange Hub. Check out the Valley Line West LRT & Me webpage to learn more about construction impacts.