It’s being trumpeted as a compromise; a positive step in the right direction.
The city revised the West Leg LRT plan yesterday, an alteration which would see track running down Bow Trail from 19 Street to 31 Street, where it would head underground.
It reduces the length of elevated track but also would require rebuilding the roadway along the route while increasing construction time and cost of the project, initially pegged at $700 million, by roughly $20 million. The added cost is less than a plan proposed by Sunalta-Scarboro residents to bury the line at spots, coming in at $150 million, said Mayor Dave Bronconnier.
“The added expenditure is certainly worthy of council’s consideration as it speaks directly to our openness to working with the communities affected,” he said of the revision, which still has to be approved by council. “But it’s a major piece of infrastructure and like all major projects, there are elements of inconvenience, this one isn’t immune to that.”
Best West LRT’s Peter Rishaug said while the new plan is a “positive move” and may alleviate some concerns from residents worried about a loss of privacy from elevated lines staring into their backyards, he’s still waiting for the social, economic, environmental and sustainability reports promised by council more than a month ago to be done before he draws any serious conclusions.
“We’re entirely supportive of the West LRT, we want it in our communities, we want discussion and we don’t want to slow it down any more than is necessary for the proper, fiscally responsible work to be done,” he said, noting he hasn’t seen plans for the revision other than a line on a map. -firstname.lastname@example.org