Builders are working on getting the Valley Line LRT construction back on schedule.

The project was supposed to be finished by late 2020, but TransEd found last March an unexpected concrete mass in the riverbank that delayed progress on the Tawatina Bridge.

Later, crews found the cement in a span meant to cross Whitemud Drive hadn’t cured properly. The piece is about to go in—about six months later than was planned.

Currently, TransEd is exploring ways to speed up construction.

One option is to close 95 Avenue entirely for about eight months to get all the heavy lifting on the roadway completed.

“It is one of the initiatives,” said TransEd’s Dean Heuman. “It certainly wouldn’t do it on its own.”

The city doesn’t have an estimate as to how delayed the project has become.

“It’s too soon to say where exactly we’ll end up. They have encountered some significant issues,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

“My personal estimation: at least a year. If not, more,” said Ward 11 Councillor Mike Nickel.

However, the mayor said public money has been protected.

“The contract is structured in a way that has completion payments that start at a certain time, and if it’s not open by that time, then those payments are foregone permanently,” Iveson explained.

However, a 95 Avenue business owner doesn’t believe the short-term pain of closing the roadway is worth seeing Valley Line LRT completed on time.

“Sure, it’s tough having the noise and vibration and the crews here,” Wired Cup Café owner Dave Jackson said, “but we’d rather do that for two years than shut it down.”

Jackson, and others, shared their concerns at a community meeting hosted by TransEd on Saturday. The business owner said he felt heard.

TransEd is expected to have a construction update next month.

With files from Jeremy Thompson