News / Edmonton

Edmonton Funicular construction moving forward

The $24-million project is set to be completed next fall, but project manager Nat Alampy said it could take two to four extra months to get it up and running.

Workers move a piece of steel into place for the urban staircase that will be part of the project.

Ryan Tumilty / Metro

Workers move a piece of steel into place for the urban staircase that will be part of the project.

The new funicular designed to open access to the river valley for more Edmontonians is on time and budget.

City officials gave an update Thursday on the mechanized river valley access project — their name for the funicular, bridge and elevator system that will take people from the Hotel MacDonald, virtually to the river’s edge.

The $24-million project is set to be completed next fall, but project manager Nat Alampy said it could take two to four extra months to get it up and running.

“We want to make sure that the commissioning of the machinery and the training of staff is done properly,” he said.

Alampy said the project has been difficult, but so far everything is on time and on budget

“It’s been quite a challenge to build a unique project on such a steep slope, close to the downtown core, but it’s a challenge the project team have accepted.”

The city also unveiled the piece of public art that will accompany the project.

The piece “Turbulent,” by artist Jill Anholt, incorporates benches planned for the site, but instead of standard benches uses blue steel pieces.

Public art director Katherine Kerr, with the Edmonton Arts Council, said they felt the piece worked for the project.

“We wanted to have artwork that could have impact in that whole expanse.”