Why did Edmonton’s newest LRT line take so long to get done?



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Hell RT with a capital H this project is on schedule to be finished by December 2020 it’s approximately the size of a car or bigger there was some oxidation occurring in some of the signaling cables the design of the internal steel reinforcement was inadequate resulting

In cracks in the peers I believe more in my customers and the community than I do in transed after years of frustration people can now ride the Valley Line Southeast LT from Milwood to downtown it was built by a Consortium of companies called transed it opened nearly 3 years

Behind schedule bogged down by delays CBC Edmonton looked into what happened and in thousands of pages of documents not made public we found a Litany of flaws starting with design and construction in 2018 work stopped on one part of the project for 6 months after workers mistakenly cut through steel

Rebar at the existing Church Hill station a concrete pier along the elevated track near Davy station was torn down in May 2019 due to quote deficiencies the concrete lining in the tunnel also had to be rebuilt due to quality issues then part of the datat bridge deck had to be removed and recast

Because of concerns with the concrete then there was the traction power substation that didn’t meet the Canadian electrical code these are just a few of the highlights we found in internal reports and shared with several current and former city councilors some problems are unavoidable uh I’m not sure that all

The ones on your list were unavoidable I think there’s probably some regret and uh you know some wishing that it could have been done different city council got regular updates on the status of the project counselors we spoke with said they weren’t given the details found in documents through cbc’s Freedom of

Information information requests I would have liked to have known more but I can understand if they decided not to share some things because of that apprehension of information finding its way into the public realm before they were ready to have it in the public realm we also talked to City Administration who say

Their job was to keep track of what transed was doing there are issues that materialize and what you do is your best to try and mitigate or minimize the risks that could materialize Council isn’t usually shared that information council’s responsible for holding Administration accountable and we are in turn responsible for holding Transit

Accountable which we have we asked Edmonton mayor amaret SOI several times for an interview before he was mayor he was the Federal infrastructure Minister during the early years of the project he declined an interview but sent a statement it is inherent to all large construction projects to encounter some

Deficiencies what is critical is how the contractor responds and remedies these issues it is City Administration A’s responsibility to oversee this contract and it’s massive a nearly $2 billion line spanning 13 kilm so how badly did it go off track we asked an expert and she says on a project this

Size issues aren’t unusual we need to take seriously that big things take time they take money and if we want to do them well we have to leave space for that big projects will always be a little bit late transed says some of the structural and design issues didn’t take

Long to resolve but monthly reports to the city show otherwise for example in 2019 a report noted that quote quality issues with final concrete lining for the quarters tunnel have resulted in significant delay to construction that same report shows quality issues with concrete on the datat bridge pushed the

Schedule further behind it’s described as a quote critical item and the schedule is slipping transed declined an interview request but responded to questions by email a spokesperson told CBC that large infrastructure projects are complex and will always have issues that need to be resolved as part of the

Course of work several people we spoke with say the nature of the project led to problems it’s a P3 a public private partnership the city got money from the feds in the province to help pay for the line and hired a private company transed to build it transed then assumed the

Risk if anything were to go wrong but the model some say is worth a second thought there’s a mythology about p3s that they’re going to be cheaper and you’re transferring risk which mostly hasn’t come to bear and so we have this idea if you make it more of the private

Sector’s business they’ll manage things more efficiently but also if things start to go wrong it’s on them instead of on the public the city maintains taxpayers are not on the hook for delays as Transit is responsible for fixing and paying for problems on the line itself other costs though go beyond the money

The people that are paying for the this line ultimately our taxpayers our residents don’t get to use what they paid for for 3 years after they get it that’s not fair at all and that is our cost we as a as a collective we as a community paid we paid through our time

We paid through our frustration we paid through our confidence so absolutely there are costs it’s not clear how much the problems will cost transed but in the past 2 years the city reported to Federal officials that transed was feeling the financial consequences of the delay now it’s up to Transit users to judge

Whether it was all worth it the company is on contract to run and maintain the line for the next 30 Years Natasha ree CBC News emont

CBC Edmonton waded through thousands of documents, never before seen by the public or city council, to find out why Edmonton’s newest LRT line was three years behind schedule when it opened in November.

In addition, publicly available data shows more than two dozen safety violations and an injury rate for TransEd employees several times higher than the industry average. Experts say those figures raise concerns about the company’s approach to worker safety:

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  1. Probably the same company that is building new lines here in Toronto, (GTA), as they also are running greatly behind. One such line here in Toronto is the Eglington LRT Line which is wayyyyy over on the time that was quoted for the line to be completed and running. And from what is publically known here, same kinds of problems and excuses.

    Meanwhile in Vancouver, where I used to live, has more than doubled the size, length and 3 of new stations, maybe even tripled them. And they are continuing to build more. When I was in Vancouver this past summer I was totally blown away by how the transit by Subway and LRT has grown and was intelligently designed.
    You can now get almost everywhere in the Lower Mainland of the GVRD. And with the new lines they are working on and completing now, in another 3 maybe 4 years there won't be anywhere in the GVRD including North and West Vancouver, that don't have some form of light rail accessible public transit.

  2. Utter incompetence and a blatant disregard for taxpayers' money appear to be a recurring theme in Canadian transit projects. Toronto, exemplified by the ongoing Eglinton Crosstown project, is not exempt from these issues. Regrettably, it seems there is little we can do other than express our frustration, as this trend appears to be a persistent and unfortunate reality.

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