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The project represents three “firsts” in Edmonton Transit Service’s LRT policy: the first low-floor route; street-level operation downtown; and utilization of the P3 public-private process. TransEd Partners, comprised of Bechtel, EllisDon, Bombardier and Fengate Capital Management, has responsibility not only for designing and building the line, but also operating and maintaining it for 30 years.
One of the benefits to Edmonton of the P3 methos is the ability to avoid a significant increase to its employee roster, with all of the related costs.
In construction terms, the new route will be the first to have concrete elevated sections, chiefly to cross busy roads, as well as an aerial station. Previous lines utilize grade crossings or underpasses.
A view of one of the twin tunnels, lined with concrete, ready for the trackbed pouring.
One of the major challenges has been crossing of the North Saskatchewan River, across a deep valley. A new LRT bridge had to be built, due to the lack of a suitable road bridge. The structure features two towers on each bank, from which a balanced cantilevered deck is extended.
An Operations and Maintenance Facility has been constructed, and is ready to receive LRVs. Concrete ties are used in the yard, with wooden ones at several turnout locations.
This article first appeared on www.railwayage.com
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