Safer LRT Crossings Along Edmonton’s Capital Line
This past weekend, Graham commissioned the first of nine Light Rail Transit (LRT) level crossing upgrades for the City of Edmonton (the City). Situated along Capital Line, the upgrades at 92nd Street increase safety for pedestrians, vehicles and LRT operators. The upgrades provide wider clearance, improving accessibility, clear safety zones and warnings that are in line with the Level Crossing Regulations. These upgrades also allow for more efficient asset and operations management for the City in the years to come and will be repeated along Capital Line throughout 2020.
Graham has been working steadfastly with the City and designer, Hatch, since the Summer of 2019 on these improvements, collaborating with both parties on the design process in the form of constructability reviews. The result has been better designs and faster approvals. In fact, the team has reduced the time required to approve new designs by 60%, expediting the project timeline. Additionally, the project team implemented a fast-tracked procurement process to deliver the long-lead materials and ensure the schedule moves along seamlessly.
Other innovations that have benefitted the project timeline relate to how Graham has been implementing these upgrades. Rather than working on one level crossing at a time, two crossings have been mobilized simultaneously, helping to minimize costs. Construction has also continued throughout the winter months, despite some record-setting cold temperatures. Together, Graham and the City have assembled a construction team that is committed to providing a safe work environment, while still minimizing disruption to daily traffic and public transit.
The upgrades to the nine level crossings have been performed while Capital Line has remained fully operational. As there have been no disruptions to the daily LRT service schedule, ridership levels have been maintained throughout construction. Graham has been careful to ensure the safety of the public, its workers and LRT operators is upheld. Graham’s commitment and overall approach to safety has been embraced by the City and demonstrates that projects can be delivered both safely and efficiently.
Following the commissioning of the upgraded 92nd Street level crossing, three additional upgraded crossings along Capital Line will follow in quick succession; 82nd Street, followed by 95th Street and finally 112th Avenue. These remaining three crossings will all be commissioned before the end of March, allowing the City of Edmonton to capitalize on funding from a federal program.