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City still looking for answers from TransEd after Valley Line LRT audit

The city has completed an audit on the Valley Line Southeast LRT project, but it’s not the comprehensive look at delays many on council were hoping for.

The city says it cannot legally audit contractor TransEd for those details.

The line from downtown to Mill Woods is supposed to open this fall.

It's nearly three years behind schedule for a number of reasons, including the discovery of a concrete mass in the riverbank that impacted the Tawatinâ Bridge, labour and material issues during the pandemic, dozens of cracked concrete piers, and faulty cables that needed replacing along the entire 13 kilometre line.

 "It is frustrating. We pay for services and we expect for those services to be delivered on time. In this case, Edmontonians have been waiting for three years, and they still continue to wait," said Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.

The city has now completed an audit on the Valley Line - including the west section currently under construction.

But it only looks at project oversight - whether the contract is transparent, fair and protects the city’s financial interests and liability.

All the delays are out of scope.

The audit did find city staff have done their due diligence - it makes no recommendations for change.

"Absolutely there's a comfort in knowing that financial interest was protected, that a quality product will be delivered… but they don’t have a product to use yet," Sohi said.

Councillors also heard the city’s relationship with TransEd has been strained over the years.

In 2021 the builder held a press conference about pushing back opening day without first telling the city about the delay.

"It's a continual effort for us to ensure that we have a strong relationship, but it has been a challenging project from that perspective," said interim city manager Adam Laughlin.

Laughlin is working on a major project review, but Sohi is pushing for specific answers on the Valley Line delays.

"I want to know what happened with those pillars. I want to know what happened with those wires, or other delays," he said, adding if city staff can’t work with Trans-Ed to get those answers, he'll ask the province to step in for a comprehensive review.

TransEd sent the following statement to CTV News Edmonton regarding the audit:

"TransEd has always and will continue to partner with the city. This includes reasonable participation in accordance with our contractual obligations and the law in any audit undertaken by the city or other government agency stakeholders."

An official opening date for the Valley Line Southeast LRT has not yet been announced. Top Stories

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