Valley Line LRT work to Shut Down 102nd Avenue for 4 years

Valley Line LRT work to Shut Down 102nd Avenue for 4 years

Valley Line LRT work to Shut Down 102nd Avenue for 4 years

Traffic, bus routes will be detoured starting next year

CBC News Posted: Jan 22, 2015 8:59 PM MT Last Updated: Jan 22, 2015 8:59 PM MT

Plans are underway to reroute traffic and find new homes for some of Edmonton’s biggest festivals in advance of a four-year closure announced for one of downtown’s main streets.

The stretch of 102nd Avenue from 95th Street and 102nd Street will be closed to traffic for four years once construction of the Valley Line LRTbegins next year.

Part of Churchill Square will also be shut down while construction is underway.

Work on the $1.8-billion project is expected to carry through until 2020.

Paul Lucas

Paul Lucas, the general manager of Events Edmonton, has been tasked with finding a new home for the Taste of Edmonton festival in 2017. (CBC)

While construction is underway, roadside businesses and restaurants will still be accessible to pedestrians during construction. City officials say no compensation will be offered to businesses affected by the work.

Edmonton Transit will start rerouting buses away from the closed road later this year.

The closure will also have a big effect on festivals like Taste of Edmonton, which currently uses Churchill Square.

The festival will need to find a new home for summer 2017.

“I’m hoping it has minimal impact if we select the right site, close to theLRT and to the downtown core, and I think that’s our goal — to stay as close to the downtown core as we can,” said Paul Lucas, the general manager of Events Edmonton.

“We all have to accommodate and move on with it.”

Lucas said he’s looking into four other locations where Taste of Edmonton can be held in 2017, but hasn’t yet picked one. In theory, the festival will be able to return to the square in 2018.

The Edmonton Street Performers Festival will also have to move.

Scott McKeen

Coun. Scott McKeen acknowledged the closure will cause some headaches, but says it will be worth it in the end. (CBC)

City officials acknowledge the work will likely cause problems, but say the results will help transform the downtown once complete.

“There’s going to be issues that will arise. It’s a huge project in the middle of our city and we’re all gonna have to make some allowances for that,” said Councillor Scott McKeen.

“This is all about transforming Edmonton. This is about making Edmonton, and particularly the downtown, more vibrant and a place where people want to be, and a place that’s easier to get to,” said Brad Smid, project manager for the Valley Line LRT.

Once complete, the Valley Line will cross Edmonton from east to west, connecting Mill Woods to Lewis Farms.




 Source: CBC News (