Full steam ahead: final piece of puzzle in place for Valley Line West and Metro Northwest extension

Edmonton is on track to continue expanding our LRT network after City Council greenlit the remaining funding needed for two major projects.

On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, Council approved the City’s $517-million contribution to the Valley Line West LRT, connecting Downtown to Lewis Farms, and the Metro Line Northwest Phase One project, extending from NAIT to the developing Blatchford community.

But Council did more than just confirm the municipal funding contribution—it approved the increases required for each project to establish their full budgets, which means Council applied the funding commitments from the provincial and federal governments to the budgets as well. At the end of the day, Council approved $2.73 billion for both projects—a major milestone!

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“That was the single largest decision Council has ever made,” said Mayor Don Iveson about the contribution.[/perfectpullquote]

Both projects now have funding support from all three levels of government, with the provincial and federal commitments at roughly 40 per cent each and the city kicking in the remaining 20 per cent. The City’s contribution breaks down into $444 million for Valley Line West LRT and $73.6 million for Metro Line Northwest LRT into Blatchford. With this final piece of the funding puzzle in place, the City can take the next steps in the building process.

“This funding keeps the momentum moving on these major transformative projects,” said Adam Laughlin, Deputy City Manager of Integrated Infrastructure Services. “It’s about more than building reliable public transit — it’s about building a city that is vibrant and connected, and with the municipal funding in place, we’ve reached another milestone in achieving that goal.”

Valley Line West Glenora stop rendering.
Valley Line West Glenora stop rendering.

Next steps

The project teams are moving forward with procurement, which is a rigorous competitive process the City uses to select a contractor to deliver these transformative LRT projects.

This process is expected to take about one year for both the Valley Line West and Metro Line Northwest Phase One Extension.

About the projects

The Valley Line West project, now in its procurement phase, is expected to begin construction in 2020, with service between Downtown and Lewis Farms beginning in 2026-27. You can learn more about the project and its next steps by visiting edmonton.ca/valleylinewest.

The City recently held two Valley Line West Capstone events to celebrate the final preliminary design for the project and to share information about the next steps with Edmontonians. Together the events attracted nearly 700 people between them, with many of the attendees expressing positive feedback about the project design and the benefits the new line will bring to them and their communities.

The Metro Line extension is currently in the design phase, and is starting its procurement process this year. It’s expected it will take about a year to select a contractor and another four to five years for construction. Service is set to begin in 2024-25, connecting passengers to the exciting new Blatchford community. More information about the Metro Line can be found at edmonton.ca/metroNW.

Metro Line Northwest rendering.
Metro Line Northwest rendering.

Interested in an update on the status of the Metro Northwest extension? Join the project team at an information session about the design and next steps:
Wednesday, May 8
4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Alberta Aviation Museum
11410 Kingsway NW

Both projects are a critical component of expanding our city’s LRT network and are guided by the city’s new strategic plan, ConnectEdmonton, which outlines the vision and establishes the guiding principles to create a city that thoughtfully connects citizens to the people, places and things that matter to them most. An expanded LRT network will also help the city achieve the four goals outlined in the plan: promoting a healthy city; developing urban places; building regional prosperity; and enhancing climate resilience.