Friday, March 15, 2013

Public-private venture eyed for Edmonton LRT

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Canadian federal officials and the City of Edmonton Thursday announced a public-private partnership effort to expedite Edmonton's light rail transit expansion. The private component of the P3 will be chosen through a competitive bidding process.

The P3 Canada Fund investment will fund up to C$250 million (US$244.6 million) for construction, as the Albertan city adds 8.2 miles its LRT system, which first opened in 1978 as the first modern LRT system in North America.

"Our Government is proud to support municipal investments in infrastructure projects that harness public and private sector expertise to deliver vital local services, like light rail transit, that promote long-term economic growth," Federal Minister of State Ted Menzies told local media.

"The City of Edmonton welcomes this important funding announcement by the federal government," said Mayor Stephen Mandel. "The Southeast to West LRT is a key part of our transportation infrastructure. It will connect communities in Mill Woods and southeast Edmonton to the central core and is essential to our plans for building a better, more accessible city."

The new service will run from Mill Woods to downtown Edmonton; officials estimate the line will initially draw about 28,000 weekday riders. The project includes construction of a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River, a 0.2-mile tunnel, and an operations and maintenance facility.

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