St. Albert is looking at tweaking the path for a future LRT line running parallel to St. Albert Trail.While actual construction of Edmonton’s Metro LRT line extended through St. Albert could still be decades away – and has not been approved with funding – the city is protecting that future LRT path while planning for imminent upgrades to the north part of the trail.
The estimated $18.95-million North St. Albert Trail upgrade project aims to widen the road from Boudreau Road/Giroux Road to the northern city limits. Construction is set to begin this year and is anticipated to continue through 2022.
On Monday, St. Albert’s community growth and infrastructure standing committee was told by staff a 2015 approval by city council of LRT alignments needed to be rescinded.
Doing so would accommodate recommended changes that were identified during design work for the St. Albert Trail upgrades last year.City transportation manager Dean Schick said the project’s objective is to protect right of way for the overall long-term vision of the St. Albert Trail corridor, while delivering on immediate improvements for efficiency and safety.
Currently, the proposed LRT alignment connects with Edmonton’s Metro line at the Campbell Road Park and Ride Transit Centre (opening in September) at the southeast end of St. Albert. Trains would then run north alongside St. Albert Trail on the east, eventually connecting to a final station on the west side of St. Albert Trail. Staff are proposing the LRT cross St. Albert Trail at Erin Ridge Road/Villeneuve Road, rather than at Everitt Drive North, which plans currently call for.
Another design recommendation is shifting the St. Albert Trail southbound lane further east, which Coun. Ray Watkins pointed out would bring the trail closer to residential properties.
As a result of these design modifications, Schick said St. Albert Trail would maintain three lanes each way in that cross-over segment. Previously, the alignment would have seen a reduction to two lanes.
The committee passed a motion recommending council rescind its 2015 motion approving the LRT alignment.
Administration said city council does not need to pass any further motions on LRT alignment, as precise engineering details on where LRT tracks are laid is an operational matter, not governance.