Less than a week before the funicular in Edmonton’s river valley is set to open, a number of workers are raising concerns over the project.

One of the issues raised is the location of the emergency stop button – the button is easily pushed and shuts the whole funicular down until staff can come reactivate it.

“We’re worried people might press the stop button to take a picture, saying ‘Oh look at that!’ hit the stop button, take a picture and realize you can’t go anywhere and then they call us,” An unidentified worker told CTV News.

In a statement to CTV News, the City of Edmonton said the button is a concern.

“We are looking at putting a clear cover over the emergency stop buttons to prevent them from being accidentally activated,” the statement said.

The statement said officials can monitor activity in the cab via closed circuit television, and will be able to communicate with people inside. There will be emergency stop buttons at each platform and inside the funicular.

“You would, I guess, rely on the common sense and good manners of people,” Councillor Scott McKeen said.

The funicular also has stairs running alongside – another source of concern for some workers. They told CTV News the special weather-resistant boards on the steps can become very slippery.



“That is gonna be an issue, when it rains, and freezes and fresh snow when it’s packed,” the worker said.

The City said the stairs are a wood material, with a Kebony treatment.

“The slipperiness of the product was considered early in the design,” the statement said. “This material is considered to be a non-slip product for dry and wet surfaces, it has been tested and is comparable to other wooden stairs in the river valley.”

The funicular is expected to open on December 9, and will operate daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

With files from David Ewasuk