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Major river valley project, including funicular, launched
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:10PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:54PM MST
A major project launched Wednesday – with a focus on improving public access to Edmonton’s river valley.
At the centre of the ‘Capital Project’ is a funicular, providing a mechanical link between the downtown core and the river, at the Rossdale Power Plant.
“This will be a motorized way to get from the top of the bank in Edmonton, down to the Rossdale Power Plant where there will also be a promenade,” Christopher Sheard with the River Valley Alliance said.
City Council approved the plan back in October, 2011.
The River Valley Alliance, which launched the major project Wednesday, believes the unique way of accessing the river, for tourists and residents alike.
“I think it will become something very popular not only with residents of Edmonton, but tourists,” Sheard said. “To be able to walk around downtown and jump on the motorized access and be down at the river front.”
The $90 million project received funding from all levels of government, and will also cover 12 other projects including the construction of new trails and boat launches.
About $25 million of the total funding will also go into a pedestrian footbridge.
The federal government has pledged to contribute up to $30 million towards the project through the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component.
The Alberta Government, and RVA member municipalities have already allocated $30 million each towards the project.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring, with all of the projects slated for completion in 2016.
“It’s a grand vision and it will take us a long time to complete,” Sheard said. “But these projects are the first in getting that done.”
Once it’s complete, the city will operate the funicular.
With files from Brenna Rose
The city is considering building a funicular, similar to this one in Quebec City, to connect downtown and the river valley near the old Rossdale Power plant.