Concerns are being raised about how a lengthy provincial review of the Green Line LRT may impact the scheduled construction start of Stage 1. LRT on the Green was copied in to a recent letter addressed to Premier Jason Kenney written by Calgary City Councillor Shane Keating. In his letter, Councillor Keating discusses the fact that the provincial government still has not formally outlined concerns first raised in a letter by Minister Ric McIver almost two months ago. With the results of the provincial review still shrouded in mystery, the tight timelines needed to allow construction of Green Line to begin in 2021 may soon be unachievable.
“We know the UCP government continues to express their support for Green Line,” said Jeff Binks, president of LRT on the Green. “We also know this government was elected on a platform of ‘jobs and the economy’. Given the fact Green Line Stage 1 will create over 20,000 jobs and provide a $4.5 billion stimulus to Alberta’s economy we are left to wonder why the provincial government isn’t working day and night with the City of Calgary to find solutions to outstanding concerns so that shovels can go in the ground as scheduled next summer.”
With the RFP process for the Elbow River to Shepard segment of Stage 1 well underway any substantial changes to the project that may be requested by the provincial government at this late stage risks disrupting the procurement process and possibly delaying construction start of the project into 2022. While this past spring Calgary City Council spent several days discussing changes to the centre city and Bow River crossing portions of the Green Line before finally approving them in a 14-1 vote, it’s important to note that the segment currently out for RFP has not had any substantial changes made to it in years nor has the provincial government voiced any concerns about it in the past. It is also important to note that the current segmented procurement process was initially requested by industry to reduce costs, maximize participants and increase the chances of local Alberta companies to win contracts.
“When it comes to building Green Line we know the provincial government has a willing dance partner in the City of Calgary. Based on past statements and the goals they want to accomplish, launching construction of Green Line should be a top priority for the UCP. Whatever the reasons for the delays so far, we’re calling on Minister McIver to clear the tracks to allow construction to begin by next summer so tens of thousands of Albertans can be hired to build this project and billions of dollars can begin flowing into our economy.” concluded Binks.