Tour of twin tunnels for Edmonton’s Valley Line southeast LRT

For the last several years, work has been underway on tunnels underneath 95 Street, just south of Jasper Avenue.

“The excavation volume of soil that was removed is roughly 70,000 tonnes,” said Dallas Lindskoog, who is with TransEd, the public-private partner building the 13-kilometre line from Mill Woods to downtown.

Excavation on the twin tunnels, each about 400 metres in length, started in March 2017 and was complete by April 2018.

Since then, workers have been lining the tunnel for stabilization.

First is a layer of what’s called shotcrete, followed by a waterproof membrane lining and then a steel-fibre reinforced mix for the final lining.

The tunnels are anywhere between three-and-a-half to 18 metres below ground.

While most work is below surface, construction has resulted in significant disruption to this small section of the river valley.

“We have requirements in our project agreement that this area be fully restored and returned to park users and all citizens of Edmonton,” said Chris Gentile, the city’s project manager on Valley Line Southeast.

The southbound tunnel is now completely lined with its final concrete finish with the northbound side expected to be done by the end of summer.

“The testing of trains and getting trains into the tunnel isn’t expected to occur until late this year, and likely into next year,” Lindskoog said.

Valley Line southeast was initially supposed to start revenue service by Dec. 15, 2020.

Due to delays in bridge construction, which leads to the tunnel, the opening has been pushed to sometime in 2021.

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