December 2020 Green Line LRT Project Update
2020 has been a year of challenges and resiliency. We recognize that there have been changes and, at times, difficulties, that all of us have experienced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we continue to navigate through COVID-19, work has been advancing on the Green Line LRT project. While responding to COVID-19 has changed the way that we are able to connect with you, we are committed to continuing to provide opportunities for engagement as we move forward.
As we reflect on 2020 at Green Line, we’d like to provide you with some highlights from the past year, as well as some updates as we move forward into 2021.
The Government of Alberta completed its review of the Green Line project in October, which resulted in questions regarding project structure, risks and cost certainty.
Since that time, a joint working group was established between The City and the Government of Alberta to resolve questions identified in the review. After significant engagement with the provincial government, The City has made the decision to pause the segment 1 procurement schedule to provide time to conclude the work with the province. We do not believe it is responsible to continue with the current procurement while discussions with the province are evolving.
It is not uncommon for large infrastructure projects, such as the Green Line LRT, to continue to be evaluated and adjusted if needed, given the period of time required for completion. As joint funding partners, we remain committed to taking the time needed to address the province’s desire to have a deeper understanding of project details. We are hopeful that the discussions will conclude in early 2021 resolving the province’s questions.
As we move through this process, the project team continues to progress with the significant amount of work underway, including establishing the Green Line Board, progressing enabling works to make way for construction and functional planning for segment 2 (16 Avenue North to 4 Street S.E.), including the Streetscape Masterplan for Centre Street North, North Mobility Studies, North Central Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) study and the Bow River bridge. The Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) and construction management contracts for segment 2 are also underway.
We will continue to be open and transparent and provide updates as information becomes available.
We are confident Green Line is being managed in a financially responsible way to maximize Albertans’ investment in the future, and we are committed to working with the federal and provincial governments to ensure the completion of this key infrastructure project.
Green Line Board recruitment update
In July 2020, Council approved the creation of a Green Line Board, with a mandate to govern and oversee the successful delivery of the Green Line LRT project. Board recruitment ran from August 28 to October 12, 2020, with Boyden selected as the successful firm to lead the process. To encourage candidates with varied backgrounds and experience to apply, the posting was shared via a number of platforms, such as Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Windspeaker Aboriginal Job Board, Institute of Corporate Directors and Women on Boards.
With over 300 potential candidates, The City engaged in an extensive evaluation process over the fall. On December 15, 2020, Council appointed seven Board members as recommended by City Administration in a closed session of Council.
With Board appointments confirmed, Administration is now in the process of completing required paperwork to finalize this process and Board Members will be publicly announced no later than January 15, 2021.
Onboarding of board members will begin in January with the first official Board meeting expected in February.
Business Support Program
Since 2018, Green Line has been busy implementing early construction (Enabling Works projects) helping to remove utility conflicts along the alignment. Throughout, the project team has worked with businesses and communities to mitigate construction impacts and learn how we can work with them to plan for future construction.
On November 13, 2020, Green Line launched an online engagement portal to inform the development of a Business Support Program (BSP). The BSP is a program that focuses on helping businesses and communities prepare for and manage the potential impacts of construction of the Green Line LRT. We introduced the BSP with the aim to understand hopes and fears and learn more about businesses. We also began recruitment for Green Line's new Business Insights Panel which will help to advise the BSP by sharing insights from the perspectives of Calgary's business community. Engagement to inform the Business Support Program will continue throughout 2021.
We understand it’s a challenging time for businesses. We are committed to working with businesses and communities in advance of construction to ensure that impacted stakeholders have the information they need to be prepared for construction, and so that we can all be better equipped to manage the impacts of LRT construction.
Visit www.engage.calgary.ca/greenline/business-support to learn more about the Business Support Program and to provide your input.
Segment 2 planning and engagement update
Since Council approval in June 2020, the Green Line team has been advancing the planning and design of Segment 2 (Elbow River north to 16 Avenue). This work has been focused on finalizing the alignment – for example, the path the tunnel will take through the Beltline from 11 Avenue to 2 Street – determining locations of underground stations and evaluating what the utility relocation program may look like to support construction of the tunnel and stations. An additional priority has been understanding the form and alignment that the bridges over the Bow and Elbow Rivers will take.
Engagement to inform planning for the Streetscape Masterplan for Centre Street North, North Mobility Studies, North Central Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) study and the Bow River bridge was held from October to December 2020. This first phase of engagement included a number of project-specific workshops and general information sessions.
The project teams are now focused on compiling and reviewing feedback to help inform planning and design as we move forward. The team is also preparing for additional engagement opportunities in the New Year. Project teams will be reporting back on this work by spring 2021.
There will be more opportunities to participate in project-specific engagement coming in January and February 2021. Subscribe to the Green Line newsletter and watch the Engage Portal for more information.
We wish you all the best this holiday season. We will be reaching out with an update in January 2021.
For information and updates as we move forward with Green Line, or for answers to frequently asked questions, visit calgary.ca/greenline.
Categories: Project update