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Edmonton

New NAIT LRT station ahead of schedule, opening of other Blatchford stop remains unclear

The City of Edmonton announced Tuesday that the new NAIT/Blatchford Market LRT station, part of Phase 1 of the Metro Line Northwest LRT extension, will open on Jan. 20.

“The new NAIT/Blatchford Market LRT station will open for passenger service, and the temporary NAIT LRT station will close,” the city said in a news release.

Construction for Phase 1 of the Metro Line Northwest LRT extension was scheduled to be completed in 2025 but it finished early in December 2023, the city said. The total budget for Phase 1 of the project is $291 million.

The Edmonton Transit Service Metro Line LRT NAIT Station in Edmonton, Alta. in April 2023. Global News

Just north of that platform will be the Blatchford Gate LRT station. The timeline for its opening remains unclear. The city said Tuesday that it will not open until “the criteria for the city’s transit service standard is met.”

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Mayor Amarjeet Sohi called the completion of the Phase 1 of the Metro Line Northwest LRT extension project a “significant infrastructure milestone” and said it will serve the city’s growth.

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“This extension further strengthens our LRT network and provides the north side of Edmonton with greater access to transit service,” he said.

The NAIT/ Blatchford Market LRT station is just west of the temporary NAIT station. Riders will notice a longer platform and added service capacity with up to five-car trains. The frequency of trains and buses will remain the same. The temporary NAIT station will be removed in the coming weeks.

The Metro Line LRT Blatchford Station in Edmonton, Alta. in April 2023. Global News

Federal Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages  Minister Randy Boissonnault said the opening will greatly impact residents in the area.

“The larger station will benefit students of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, future residents of the Blatchford neighbourhood and bring this LRT network one step closer to connecting communities for Edmontonians,” said Boissonnault.

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The new LRT station has shared-used paths that connect to paths at 118th Avenue and at 123rd Avenue. Solar panels were also installed to supply 75 per cent of the station’s electricity as part of the city’s green building initiative.

Edmonton’s Metro Line LRT is expanding into Blatchford and the stations have solar panels on them to power them. Courtesy: City of Edmonton
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