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Bechtel Edmonton rail Bechtel, in partnership with EllisDon, Fengate, and Alstom, today announced the official start of passenger service of Edmonton’s Valley Line Southeast.

The new rail line connects communities across Edmonton to its downtown center and is expected to carry 30,000 passengers per day to begin. The light rail line was designed to meet the rising mobility needs in Canada’s second fastest growing city.

“Today marks a historic achievement for the City of Edmonton, which is now home to an accessible, reliable, and sustainable urban-style LRT line that rival those of other world-class cities,” said Darren Mort, president of Bechtel Infrastructure. “Across the globe, Bechtel is connecting people and communities. We’re proud of this project and grateful to TransEd and the City of Edmonton for their partnership.”

The new 13-kilometer Valley Line Southeast connects Mill Woods to downtown Edmonton via rail for the first time, stopping at 11 new neighborhood stops, with direct connections to multiple bus lines. Three new bridges, including the new multipath eight-meter wide Tawatinâ Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River, and a tunnel were also built as part of the project. The elevated Davies Station offers direct access to the 1,300-space Park & Ride and multi-modal Transit Centre. Transit riders may also easily transfer to the Capital Line and Metro Line light rail lines at the Churchill Station.

Excited passengers cheered as the first trains pulled into the stations early on Saturday morning. The opening of the new line was celebrated throughout the day as riders were greeted by train ambassadors to assist with questions about the Valley Line Southeast.

“Bechtel is proud of its role in leading the TransEd Design Build team to deliver this new sustainable transportation project to the City of Edmonton,” said Andy Gillespie, Bechtel’s Edmonton Light Rail project manager.

During the height of construction, more than 1,000 workers were on site. The project awarded 83% of the subcontracts and 75% of the purchase orders to Canadian-based firms and vendors. The project replaced plants and trees with native species to protect and support the thriving North Saskatchewan River ecosystem.

“As an equity partner, Bechtel built the trust critical between the private sector and the City of Edmonton that continues to this day,” said Michael Hochman, managing director, head of development at Bechtel Enterprises. “In celebration of this important milestone, Bechtel looks forward to our continued one team approach with our customer and TransEd partners to continue to deliver excellence for years to come.”

As part of the Public-Private Partnership (P3) team selected in 2016, the Bechtel EllisDon Joint Venture led the design and construction efforts. The partnership with the City of Edmonton will continue as the P3 consortium transitions into the operation and maintenance phase.

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