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City selects bidder for Century Park-Ellerslie Road LRT extension in south Edmonton

Extending the Capital Line LRT to the city’s most southern suburbs is another step closer to reality after the city announced it has selected its preferred bidder to design and build Phase 1 from Century Park to just north of Ellerslie Road.

The city said Tuesday its preferred bidder is Capital Line Design-Builders, consisting of team members Ledcor and AECOM.

Ledcor was founded in Leduc but is now headquartered in Vancouver, and AECOM is an international infrastructure consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas.

The city said it will now enter into negotiations with Capital Line Design-Builders, with the goal of awarding the contract by the end of May.

Phase 1 of the plan would see the existing LRT line extended 4.5 km south of the current endpoint at Century Park to the Heritage Valley Park and Ride at Ellerslie Road and 135 Street.

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The Heritage Valley Park and Ride will replace Century Park as the main southside transit hub along the line.

The tracks will run along the west side of 111 Street to Anthony Henday Drive, where a train bridge would extend the tracks over the major freeway to the Heritage Valley Transit Centre just north of Ellerslie Road (Phase 1 does not cross Ellerslie Road).

Phase 1 includes an LRT underpass at 23 Avenue and 111 Street, two new bridges — over the Henday and at Blackmud Creek — and two new stations (in Twin Brooks and at the transit centre.)

A rendering of the Twin Brooks station along the Capital Line LRT in south Edmonton. Credit: City of Edmonton

A new operations and maintenance facility south of Anthony Henday Drive and new rail cars are also part of Phase 1.

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The original LRT extension plan called for a raised station and track overpass at Ellerslie Road — but to cut costs, last year the city said the station and crossing could be built at grade instead.

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It has yet to be determined whether the LRT tracks will be separated at Ellerslie Road, the city’s latest information on the extension said, adding that call will made at a future unknown date.

Click to play video: 'Some Twin Brooks residents opposed to LRT station as part of south extension'

Some Twin Brooks residents opposed to LRT station as part of south extension

Construction of the 4.5-km Phase 1 extension is scheduled to begin later this year and is expected to take four to five years, followed by testing and commissioning.

“We’d like to thank the bidding teams for participating in our procurement,” said Bruce Ferguson, branch manager of LRT expansion and renewal with the City of Edmonton.

“We’re confident our fair and rigorous competitive process will ensure Phase 1 of the Capital Line south extension will result in excellent value for Edmontonians and further strengthen our mass transit network.”

The City of Edmonton estimates construction of the Capital Line extension will generate $330 million in wages in Alberta and another $100 million throughout the country. The project is expected to generate 3,700 jobs in the province and another 1,700 across Canada, the city said.

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The $1.1-billion project is funded by all three level of government.

Click to play video: 'Feds commit $400M for Capital Line LRT expansion into southwest Edmonton'

Feds commit $400M for Capital Line LRT expansion into southwest Edmonton

The city said it launched its Capital Line south procurement process in June 2022 and shortlisted two bidders last March.

Both bidders provided technical submissions, including draft designs and plans, to demonstrate their ability to meet the city’s technical requirements. The city said both bidders passed and were invited to submit a financial proposal.

The city said it evaluated these proposals and the team with the highest combined technical and financial score was selected as the preferred bidder. The city did not say who the other bidder was.

Future phases of the project will see the Capital Line extended farther south to Heritage Valley and northwest toward Castle Downs.

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A City of Edmonton map showing the Capital Line, Valley Line and Metro Line LRTs. City of Edmonton

The city’s other style of LRT — the low-floor Valley Line — is being built by two different P3-model companies.

The southeast line from Mill Woods to downtown, which opened last year, was built by TransEd, a consortium made up of four companies: engineering firm Bechtel, construction company EllisDon, train builder Alstom (which acquired former builder Bombardier in 2021) and Fengate Asset Management.

Click to play video: 'Valley Line versus Capital Line: Which LRT is faster?'

Valley Line versus Capital Line: Which LRT is faster?

The extension from downtown to Lewis Estates in west Edmonton is being built by Marigold Infrastructure Partners: a design-build joint venture between French civil engineering firm Colas, which specializes in road construction and rail track, and American technology-focused engineering company Parsons Corporation.

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The west leg construction began in 2021 and is expected to take five to six years to complete.

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