As the city moves beyond COVID-19 restrictions, offices, classes and major events are starting to open up. This includes the return of Edmonton Elks games on August 7, which means CFL fans will once again be making their way to Commonwealth Stadium.
It also means ETS is preparing to welcome more riders back on transit.
Whether you’re using Stadium Station to go to an Elks game or to use the gym at Commonwealth Recreation Centre, the station may look a little different due to ongoing redevelopment work. After more than 40 years as a busy transportation hub, it’s getting some much-needed tender loving care (TLC).
Here’s a look at some of the work taking place and what the changes mean for LRT riders.
A modern station with improved connections
The Stadium LRT Station Redevelopment project, which started last year, will involve renovating the entire station building and removing the underground concourse. Construction is expected to be complete in 2022.
“More than simply repairing the building, we’re making it more safe, accessible and efficient,” said Kevin Pringle, Portfolio Construction Manager, LRT Expansion and Renewal. “It’s also part of a larger vision to improve connectivity throughout the Stadium Station area.”
The improvements include: improved accessibility, new heated shelters, new public washrooms and new bike parking.
In April, crews started installing the new canopy beams. The new, open canopy runs the length of the station and replaces the previous enclosed building. When complete, crews will have installed more than 906,000 lbs of steel on the project.
New west platform
Crews have made progress on a new platform on the west side of the tracks. The additional platform will help with passenger flow at the station, especially during larger events at Commonwealth Stadium.
Construction will continue on the existing platform, as crews install the new heated shelters and enhanced lighting.
New street-level ramps are also being added to help improve accessibility and flow. Both platforms will be accessible from street-level crossings. This means passengers will be able to enter at either end of the station, rather than having to move through the underground concourse.
On June 29, street level access to the existing platform opened on the west side of Stadium Station. Street level access from the east side of the station will open later this summer.
Construction progress on the north ramp leading to the centre platform.
Transit changes during construction
Keep in mind that trains keep running throughout the renovations. Some work is completed at night, but much of it takes place while trains operate. The City works to offset impacts to ETS customers while keeping the project timelines on track. This includes coordinating LRT renewal projects across the LRT system and with events at Commonwealth Stadium.
However, while impacts are minimized, some short-term changes are needed.
“We understand that these changes are frustrating, and we thank Edmontonians for their patience and support as we work to improve the station,” said Pringle. “It’s a short-term trade-off for an improved station that will benefit our city for many decades to come.”
So, what does this mean for LRT riders?
- Concourse access will remain open until the street level access from the east side of the station opens later this summer. This allows pedestrians to travel through the concourse.
- Capital Line trains will run every 15 minutes until late-August. While this includes the Edmonton Elks games on August 7 and 14, there will be additional buses at every Park & Ride location for these games. Learn more at edmonton.ca/FootballParkandRide.
- As for what happens in late August stay tuned, ETS plans to announce details on increased service frequencies on the Capital Line.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for riding safely!
Editor’s note: the picture at the top of the post shows Stadium LRT Station under construction. Photo courtesy Three0Six.