A panel of judges selected a winner for the Edmonton Project Tuesday evening. The winning idea was a Gondola over the North Saskatchewan River, submitted to The Edmonton Project by Amber and Gary Poliquin.

The idea would be to have the gondola start east of the Shaw Conference Centre, down into the Rossdale flats, and back up by the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. The crossing would take less than 10 minutes.

"The gondola takes us from good to great, to a world city where everybody's eyes are on us. And there are possibilities of funding from different levels of government," Carrie Doll, one of the judges said.

The couple said that the win was a mix of shock and excitement for them.

“The possibilities are endless. It just feeds so many things that we believe Edmonton is. It’s just unmeasurable,” Gary said on Tuesday night.  

The idea was inspired by what the couple had seen on their travels.

“We’ve had the opportunity to travel to many different places around North America and Europe and lots of cities in different countries have gondolas, and they use them for transport,” Amber said previously in an interview.

“Someone driving up Gateway boulevard from Calgary, for example, and they’ve passed the farmer’s market, they see the downtown skyline and whoosh there goes a gondola from down below, and initially their mind will be blown,” Gary said.

He estimates the gondola would cost between $20 million and $60 million, and Amber said the project could also be completed within a year.

“It can be built fairly quickly, we are kind of used to in our city where construction projects take a very long time sometimes and a gondola in ideal conditions can be built in 6 to 12 months,” Amber said.

The gondola idea was one of hundreds submitted to The Edmonton Project, and one of ten selected for the shortlist.

Mayor Don Iveson said that the project will be subject to reviews from residents and an environmental impact study.

With files from Dez Melenka