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Thread: Centre LRT | Strathcona

  1. #301

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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    The U of A is already serviced by the Capital line as it is. Centre LRT is more like a luxury item. Is it really needed?
    Downtown is already serviced by the Capital and Metro lines. Do we really need the Valley Line?

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    Ok, that's acceptable. This Centre LRT (pardon the pun) has a lot of moving parts in it. We're rapidly growing as a city we get that but is the Centre LRT the way to go in the time frame you mentioned above? I'm all about seeing the big picture. Has there been a study done on the daily passenger load Centre LRT? I've taken the #51 and #6 busses from Southgate when I worked at the Heart & Stroke foundation last year. Both bus routes are busy. #6 more then the #51, I wonder how those routes will be impacted if at all by Centre LRT.
    Last edited by envaneo; 16-02-2018 at 12:58 PM.
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  3. #303

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    The question isn't if it's needed now, it's if it's needed in 20, 30, 40yrs. We have a lot of runway here to get it right.
    It won't be needed in 20,30,40 years. We're using less than half of the capacity on the existing line that exactly parallels this one. If there's need for another transit river crossing in 40 years it will be better to build a whole new corridor at a distance from the capital/metro line rather than duplicate.

    If the city were actually thinking 40 years in the future we wouldn't be building at-grade "streetcar" LRT on major commuter corridors.
    There can only be one.

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    The coe was certainly thinking long term when Churchill station to Nait when Churchill station was built in the 1970's
    Last edited by envaneo; 16-02-2018 at 01:05 PM.
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    Coe saw long term then by adding the breakout panels at Churchill station. I'm idle today...
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  6. #306

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    Given that it will be 2025 (best case scenario) before the west leg of the Valley line is complete, and the south and north extensions along the existing high floor lines are the next priority, it is unlikely that construction of the Centre LRT will begin before 2040 unless some of the other work is done concurrently. By then, the HLB will be in need of a major rehab just to keep it operating the way it is now. I expect that the area around Whyte Ave will be full of multi story apartments, the University will be serving 50,000 students and the whole area will be a traffic nightmare. Think about changes we've seen over the past 22 years or so to get some idea of what the future might look like. A 2 car consist can handle 550 people every 5 minutes each way. We all get caught up in the congestion lrt might cause, but what about the number of cars it can replace? What does that do for congestion?

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    $smart money says by that time the autonomous vehicle will be on city streets by then:

    http://edmontonjournal.com/business/...omous-vehicles

    According to the Alberta Automobile insurance rate board, the autonomous vehicle is in the conversation of near future transportation. At the moment Level 2 autonomous vehicles are surfacing. Level 5 just a few years away from now. How will autonomous vehicles impact Centre LRT and the LRT in general in 25 years?
    Last edited by envaneo; 16-02-2018 at 01:32 PM.
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  8. #308

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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    How will autonomous vehicles impact Centre LRT and the LRT in general in 25 years?
    Hopefully they'll be smart enough by then not to.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    ^ That was a good interview Ian. Would the use of the HL bridge in your proposal include the existing land/tracks are on behind the AEB?

    Just wondering, are you connected in anyway with Yardstick on 104th street?
    Thanks very much. Correct.

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  10. #310

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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    $smart money says by that time the autonomous vehicle will be on city streets by then:

    http://edmontonjournal.com/business/...omous-vehicles

    According to the Alberta Automobile insurance rate board, the autonomous vehicle is in the conversation of near future transportation. At the moment Level 2 autonomous vehicles are surfacing. Level 5 just a few years away from now. How will autonomous vehicles impact Centre LRT and the LRT in general in 25 years?
    Since cars, self driving or not, only hold 4 or 5 passengers compared to the 550 that an lrt train holds, I'm not sure that they can replace trains. Having half a million or so robot cars zooming around the city will not solve congestion issues.

  11. #311

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    Since trains, high-capacity or not, only go on one fixed route compared to the nigh-infinite flexibility cars can provide, I'm not sure that they can replace cars. Having trains only servicing a handful of the employment & living nodes in the city will not solve congestion issues.
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    ^ There's that, and how much power the LRT vs EV's/autonomous vehicles can demand on the power grid. Its not certain at this point if autonomous vehicles are going to be owned by the City/Province or the consumer. Seems we're moving in the direction of the autonomous vehicle sooner then later. I'm 65 so hopefully they wont appear in my life time
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    How will autonomous vehicles impact Centre LRT and the LRT in general in 25 years?
    Hopefully they'll be smart enough by then not to.
    Mercifully, I'll be gone from planet earth by that time. I'm an old guy, lol.
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  14. #314

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Since trains, high-capacity or not, only go on one fixed route compared to the nigh-infinite flexibility cars can provide, I'm not sure that they can replace cars. Having trains only servicing a handful of the employment & living nodes in the city will not solve congestion issues.
    Trains are linked to buses and park and rides. People use them in combination to get from home to work every day, keeping thousands of cars off our inner city roadways.

  15. #315

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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    How will autonomous vehicles impact Centre LRT and the LRT in general in 25 years?
    Hopefully they'll be smart enough by then not to.
    Mercifully, I'll be gone from planet earth by that time. I'm an old guy, lol.
    The same for me. There is pretty much no chance of me being alive by the time the Centre LRT is open for business.

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    ^ But at least your contributing to the conversation and your voice has value like everyone else. Its what we say here that has impact down the road, hopefully.
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  17. #317

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post
    Trains are linked to buses and park and rides.
    Both of which are obviated by autonomous cars. No need to park a self-driving car & leave it there while you're at work. No need to deal with transfers, inefficient, circuitous, meandering neighbourhood collector routes & no need to worry about the bus leaving as the train pulls in. Get in, get out & the car continues on its merry way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post
    People use them in combination to get from home to work every day, keeping thousands of cars of our inner city roadways.
    Except for those of us who can't take transit or bike to work because Edmonton has highly distributed living & employment nodes that are ill-suited to the capital-heavy, catchment-limited & inflexible LRT paradigm in use here.
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  18. #318

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    What do self driving car computers do when they are stuck in gridlock?


    Maybe tell; Why did the chicken cross the road jokes?
    Last edited by KC; 16-02-2018 at 03:12 PM.

  19. #319

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post
    Trains are linked to buses and park and rides.
    Both of which are obviated by autonomous cars. No need to park a self-driving car & leave it there while you're at work. No need to deal with transfers, inefficient, circuitous, meandering neighbourhood collector routes & no need to worry about the bus leaving as the train pulls in. Get in, get out & the car continues on its merry way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post
    People use them in combination to get from home to work every day, keeping thousands of cars of our inner city roadways.
    Except for those of us who can't take transit or bike to work because Edmonton has highly distributed living & employment nodes that are ill-suited to the capital-heavy, catchment-limited & inflexible LRT paradigm in use here.
    Ah, the old straw man. No one is touting lrt to replace cars, self driving or otherwise, particularly for those travelling between Stony Plain and Leduc or Ft. Saskatchewan. The biggest employment nodes in the Edmonton area, downtown and the University, are both surrounded by old neighbourhoods and accessed by narrow roads. We either live with gridlock, build freeways through those neighborhoods, or provide some alternate means of moving lots of people at a time. LRT is the preferred solution. It is reasonably affordable and has proven it's worth already, here and in many other cities. While the LRT expansions is done in big expensive chunks, it's costs are low compared to what is spent on roads. Unless we send it through residential neighbourhoods, it has to be built along existing arterial roads. The cost of elevating or burying it is prohibitive.

  20. #320

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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    ^ But at least your contributing to the conversation and your voice has value like everyone else. Its what we say here that has impact down the road, hopefully.
    Thanks for your thoughts. I doubt anything anyone says here will have much impact. Fortunately, in this instance I find I pretty much agree with the preferred route option the city picked. That is not usually the case.

  21. #321

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    Is it really a straw man when I'm literally describing myself?

    I currently live in the densest residential neighbourhood in town & have an 18-25 minute commute by car, door-to-door to a white-collar professional job that happens to not be centrally located. Transit? ~75 minutes, and that's on a day without inclement weather. Not even close to being an option.

    While Downtown & the University are indeed large nodes, that kinda proves my point. Outside of those two nodes there's a significant number of Edmontonians who don't work anywhere near either of them, instead being distributed throughout the city in huge swaths of industrial areas, like the one I work in.
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  22. #322

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    Capital/Metro lines serves UofA from downtown. If you want service to west end, extend Capital line via 87 ave. Centre LRT can connect to Bonnie Doon for connections from Mill Woods, Capilano and Sherwood Park with no need to connect to the western edge of downtown and no bridge needed. If we need a bridge, direct connect UofA to WEM makes more sense
    Last edited by kkozoriz; 16-02-2018 at 04:03 PM.

  23. #323

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Is it really a straw man when I'm literally describing myself?

    I currently live in the densest residential neighbourhood in town & have an 18-25 minute commute by car, door-to-door to a white-collar professional job that happens to not be centrally located. Transit? ~75 minutes, and that's on a day without inclement weather. Not even close to being an option.

    While Downtown & the University are indeed large nodes, that kinda proves my point. Outside of those two nodes there's a significant number of Edmontonians who don't work anywhere near either of them, instead being distributed throughout the city in huge swaths of industrial areas, like the one I work in.
    I've worked downtown, in suburban Edmonton and out in the oil patch. Right now I'm working in the NW Industrial Area, a region many times the size of downtown, accessed via a multitude of roads. The workplace density heere is very low, so it makes sense for people to drive if they can afford it. I've taken transit or ridden my bike to work downtown and in some of the industrial areas in the past, but my current location does not lend itself well to either solution.

    What's a straw man is your argument that implied that lrt was not a solution for people travelling to those areas. It's a straw man argument because neither I, nor anyone else has recommended lrt as a transportation solution in those areas.

    More people work downtown or at the University than in any single industrial area in the region. LRT is about getting those people to work or school. I'm hoping the Valley line reduces congestion around WEM and along 87th ave in general

  24. #324

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    Capital/Metro lines serves UofA from downtown. If you want service to west end, extend Capital line via 87 ave. Centre LRT can connect to Bonnie Doon for connections from Mill Woods, Capilano and Sherwood Park with no need to connect to the western edge of downtown and no bridge needed. If we need a bridge, direct connect UofA to WEM makes more sense
    You're flogging a dead horse. The valley line route is as much as cast in stone right now. I have a lot of concerns about the impact of this line from 149 st to the intersection of 142 st and Stony Plain Rd, but no one is listening. No point wasting your breath on things that aren't going to change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    ^ But at least your contributing to the conversation and your voice has value like everyone else. Its what we say here that has impact down the road, hopefully.
    Thanks for your thoughts. I doubt anything anyone says here will have much impact. Fortunately, in this instance I find I pretty much agree with the preferred route option the city picked. That is not usually the case.
    TY. Ian confirmed my suspicions (if I read him right) that the Centre LRT could be utilizing the existing CP lands by the AEB structurally modifying the HLB etc. It seems such a waste to even detour the route West off 109th and onto Whyte, when it could easily just continue South on 109th street, make a left turn heading East from there. The funds saved could go towards the Mill creek bridge. I'm against this whole concept of Centre LRT anyway but I like the conversation. IMO Blatchford and St. Albert first before this. We can agree to disagree
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  26. #326

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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    ^ But at least your contributing to the conversation and your voice has value like everyone else. Its what we say here that has impact down the road, hopefully.
    Thanks for your thoughts. I doubt anything anyone says here will have much impact. Fortunately, in this instance I find I pretty much agree with the preferred route option the city picked. That is not usually the case.
    TY. Ian confirmed my suspicions (if I read him right) that the Centre LRT could be utilizing the existing CP lands by the AEB structurally modifying the HLB etc. It seems such a waste to even detour the route West off 109th and onto Whyte, when it could easily just continue South on 109th street, make a left turn heading East from there. The funds saved could go towards the Mill creek bridge. I'm against this whole concept of Centre LRT anyway but I like the conversation. IMO Blatchford and St. Albert first before this. We can agree to disagree

    Blatchford and the south extension are already prioritized ahead of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    The preferred route is going to be opened for public feedback in February. Here's a sneak peak:



    Important points:

    1. New bridge in between the High Level Bridge and the existing LRT (Menzies) Bridge.
    2. This bridge will be higher than Menzies but lower than HLB.
    3. Downtown stretches likely to be at grade.
    4. Unknown if the stretch along 110st/89ave in Garneau will be at grade or elevated or even tunneled.
    5. Two traffic lanes gone along 112st and Whyte Avenue.
    6. Unknown if Whyte Avenue crossings at 109st, Calgary Trail, Gateway Blvd, etc will be at grade.
    7. Bridge over Mill Creek will be shared with vehicular traffic.
    I really hate this New bridge idea... So stupid.

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    Personally I'd like them to replace the deck on the High Level Bridge, if it done correctly you could have room more rail lines on top (perhaps LRT or HST), perhaps 3 lanes for cars and adequate bike lanes, get rid of the dangerous pillars and narrow bike lanes/sidewalks.

    If done properly you could prefab a segment, then over a weekend lift it into to place, repeat and it could possibly be done cheaper than building yet another bridge. Certainly would have very little environmental impact.

    There have been quite a few bridges rebuilt using this process.

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    Default High Level Bridge - In danger of collapse?

    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Personally I'd like them to replace the deck on the High Level Bridge, if it done correctly you could have room more rail lines on top (perhaps LRT or HST), perhaps 3 lanes for cars and adequate bike lanes, get rid of the dangerous pillars and narrow bike lanes/sidewalks.

    If done properly you could prefab a segment, then over a weekend lift it into to place, repeat and it could possibly be done cheaper than building yet another bridge. Certainly would have very little environmental impact.

    There have been quite a few bridges rebuilt using this process.
    I received a pamphlet from the City of Edmonton on the Centre LRT Study. From it I quote:

    CROSSING THE RIVER

    While the High Level Bridge was the preferred river crossing, investigation and analysis determined the bridge, with or without extensive upgrades, could not support the additional load of LRT trains.
    The key phrase there: the bridge, with or without extensive upgrades, could not support the additional load of LRT trains.

    This give pause for concern. Should motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and the Radial Railway Society Trolley, all be concerned that the old High Level Bridge is at risk of collapse?

    This thing used to handle heavy freight trains, and now to bring back even light rail, it can't handle that.

    Edmontonians should be preparing themselves for the day that the High Level Bridge is torn down and replaced with a new bridge.

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    ^ Oh great another Groat Rd/Waterdale experience
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Jackson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Personally I'd like them to replace the deck on the High Level Bridge, if it done correctly you could have room more rail lines on top (perhaps LRT or HST), perhaps 3 lanes for cars and adequate bike lanes, get rid of the dangerous pillars and narrow bike lanes/sidewalks.

    If done properly you could prefab a segment, then over a weekend lift it into to place, repeat and it could possibly be done cheaper than building yet another bridge. Certainly would have very little environmental impact.

    There have been quite a few bridges rebuilt using this process.
    I received a pamphlet from the City of Edmonton on the Centre LRT Study. From it I quote:

    CROSSING THE RIVER

    While the High Level Bridge was the preferred river crossing, investigation and analysis determined the bridge, with or without extensive upgrades, could not support the additional load of LRT trains.
    The key phrase there: the bridge, with or without extensive upgrades, could not support the additional load of LRT trains.

    This give pause for concern. Should motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and the Radial Railway Society Trolley, all be concerned that the old High Level Bridge is at risk of collapse?

    This thing used to handle heavy freight trains, and now to bring back even light rail, it can't handle that.

    Edmontonians should be preparing themselves for the day that the High Level Bridge is torn down and replaced with a new bridge.
    Yep. pretty amazing how a bridge can deteriorate to this point when the HUGE loads it carried no longer put stress upon it. It smells like a pet project for another VERY EXPENSIVE build. Why not get an outside source for that assessment instead of one here in the city. Just a thought.
    Last edited by cnr67; Yesterday at 09:30 PM.
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  32. #332

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    I'm in support of the route at grade from Bonnie Doon to University Station, so many may disagree with that and my in-person, letters of support for it, but I think it's clear that for any infrastructure to use a crossing at the HL Bridge location/proximity that construction or configuration of a crossing be made to coincide with a repair/replacement.

    I'm doing a "letters of concern" draft template mail-out to those I know on a 2-Phase build-out of this line. Phase 1 to University Station, which will connect all major nodes as intended. Phase 2 to coincide with repair/replace of the HLB. Since we're dealing with a last-of-the-LRT-legs in the network, this is decades away. By the time they build phase 1 there will already be better and more frequent/streamlined bus service through the area.
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  33. #333

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    "the bridge, with or without extensive upgrades, could not support the additional load of LRT trains."

    I say bullshlt on that assessment.
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  34. #334
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Yep. pretty amazing how a bridge can deteriorate to this point when the HUGE loads it carried no longer put stress upon it. It smells like a pet project for another VERY EXPENSIVE build. Why not get an outside source for that assessment instead of one here in the city. Juts a thought.
    Are you calling in to question the professional ethics of the engineers who conducted that study at Stantec? Because professional engineering standards and practices don't change according to geography, and shouldn't change depending on who the client is.

  35. #335

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    They have to prove what they are saying.
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  36. #336

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    The real question would be how can the City work within or around the bridge's heritage designation to make upgrades and worthwhile repairs? The engineering report was done within the confines of the bridge's designation, correct?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David Jackson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    Personally I'd like them to replace the deck on the High Level Bridge, if it done correctly you could have room more rail lines on top (perhaps LRT or HST), perhaps 3 lanes for cars and adequate bike lanes, get rid of the dangerous pillars and narrow bike lanes/sidewalks.

    If done properly you could prefab a segment, then over a weekend lift it into to place, repeat and it could possibly be done cheaper than building yet another bridge. Certainly would have very little environmental impact.

    There have been quite a few bridges rebuilt using this process.
    I received a pamphlet from the City of Edmonton on the Centre LRT Study. From it I quote:

    CROSSING THE RIVER

    While the High Level Bridge was the preferred river crossing, investigation and analysis determined the bridge, with or without extensive upgrades, could not support the additional load of LRT trains.
    The key phrase there: the bridge, with or without extensive upgrades, could not support the additional load of LRT trains.

    This give pause for concern. Should motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and the Radial Railway Society Trolley, all be concerned that the old High Level Bridge is at risk of collapse?

    This thing used to handle heavy freight trains, and now to bring back even light rail, it can't handle that.

    Edmontonians should be preparing themselves for the day that the High Level Bridge is torn down and replaced with a new bridge.
    Yep. pretty amazing how a bridge can deteriorate to this point when the HUGE loads it carried no longer put stress upon it. It smells like a pet project for another VERY EXPENSIVE build. Why not get an outside source for that assessment instead of one here in the city. Juts a thought.
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    ^^ Um...its called the Stantec report.
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    Are trains heavier than a bridge full of stopped traffic + pavement + whatever structure was needed for car traffic? Add in 2 LRTs and all the necessary materials to equip the bridge for them.

    I don't think we're comparing apples to apples here.

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    If the iron isn't rusted sufficiently, that bridge could very easily carry the load of 2 full 5 car trains, probably more, it was built to handle CP freight cars after all.
    To me it sounds like the city really wants to build a new bridge rather than spending a fraction on replacing rusted girder sections (I seem to remember they did that once already)

  41. #341

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    Are we seriously suggesting the engineering report lied?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
    They have to prove what they are saying.
    I look forward to your detailed critique of Stantec's report, which has been posted in this thread previously. I would also suggest you forward your critique to APEGGA, so that the offenders can be sanctioned appropriately.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenWhy? View Post
    Are we seriously suggesting the engineering report lied?
    Yup.

  43. #343

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Are trains heavier than a bridge full of stopped traffic + pavement + whatever structure was needed for car traffic? Add in 2 LRTs and all the necessary materials to equip the bridge for them.

    I don't think we're comparing apples to apples here.
    The bridge used to be full of stopped traffic + pavement + whatever structure was needed for car traffic plus a Canadian Pacific locomotive running overhead.




    Let's compare a freight train that used to cross the High Level Bridge

    The locomotive from the 1980's when CP was running trains over the bridge, can weigh 368,000 lb (167,000 kilograms) and be 60-70 feet long, plus a line of freight cars with the additional weight and length.

    A Siemens SD-160, each 81 feet long, weighing 91492 lbs/41500 kg each. plus 190 passengers @175 lbs/80 kg each, 33,250 lbs/15,200 kg That means a 3 car consist weighs 374,226 lbs / 170100 and is 243 feet long. Basically the same weight as one locomotive only but 3 times the length. Two LRT's passing each other are an issue

    I still wonder about their non-technical use of '40% section reduction'.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; Yesterday at 08:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    ^^ Um...its called the Stantec report.
    And THEY are the ONLY consultants on the planet? REALLY???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Are trains heavier than a bridge full of stopped traffic + pavement + whatever structure was needed for car traffic? Add in 2 LRTs and all the necessary materials to equip the bridge for them.

    I don't think we're comparing apples to apples here.
    The bridge used to be full of stopped traffic + pavement + whatever structure was needed for car traffic plus a Canadian Pacific locomotive running overhead.




    Let's compare a freight train that used to cross the High Level Bridge

    The locomotive from the 1980's when CP was running trains over the bridge, can weigh 368,000 lb (167,000 kilograms) and be 60-70 feet long, plus a line of freight cars with the additional weight and length.

    A Siemens SD-160, each 81 feet long, weighing 91492 lbs/41500 kg each. plus 190 passengers @175 lbs/80 kg each, 33,250 lbs/15,200 kg That means a 3 car consist weighs 374,226 lbs / 170100 and is 243 feet long. Basically the same weight as one locomotive only but 3 times the length. Two LRT's passing each other are an issue

    I still wonder about their non-technical use of '40% section reduction'.
    Fair enough. Thanks for the numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldergrove View Post
    There is an executive summary of Stantec's bridge report here: https://www.edmonton.ca/documents/Hi...xecSummary.pdf
    This is significant new information for many of us.

    Most welcome.

    Interpretation: High Level Bridge replacement needed in less than 30 years. Dreamers, architects, engineers, start your engines!

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    One slight little caveat to Edmonton PRT's argument is that a CP train did not run on those tracks every day from 5am to 1am 7 days a week. Big difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by envaneo View Post
    ^^ Um...its called the Stantec report.
    And THEY are the ONLY consultants on the planet? REALLY???

    Has anyone else published a report yet on the topic?
    Mom said I should not talk to cretins!

  50. #350

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    The report says absolutely nothing about the piers so I can guess they must be in good shape. What is the plan for the HLB in 2045, do they even have a plan? Is the plan to rehabilitate or destroy it? I bet they will rehabilitate it. They might as well bite the bullet and do it now, so they can also add more lanes for vehicles and extra space for pedestrian & bicycle traffic.

    This report is not examining all possible possibilities available for us to consider.
    Edmonton first, everything else second.

  51. #351

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    The executive summary of the report doesn't go in to details, but I would assume that the piers are part of the 'structure'

    Since so many people are ignoring the report entirely, and likely not reading it because its a link... I'm pasting it here:

    High Level Bridge Feasibility Study and Conceptual Bridge Modification Strategy Report Structural Feasibility Study for Multi-Modal Usage Improvements on High Level Bridge
    Prepared for: City of Edmonton
    Prepared by: Stantec Consulting Ltd. Edmonton
    File: 1135 100016
    February 7, 2018 HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE FEASIBILITY STUDY AND CONCEPTUAL BRIDGE MODIFICATION STRATEGY REPORT
    Executive Summary
    Scope of Work
    In May 2017, the City of Edmonton retained Stantec Consulting Ltd. (Stantec) to perform a concept level feasibility study and bridge modification strategy assessment of High Level Bridge (HLB) for a limited number of potential modifications for multi-modal usage, as follows:
    1. Widening of sidewalks on the lower deck to 4.2m clear width (Option 1);
    2. Addition of two (2) LRT tracks and two (2) 4.2m wide Shared Use Paths on the top deck (Option 2);
    3. Combination of both scenarios 1 and 2 (Option 3). A review of the feasibility of widening the south approach sidewalks to accompany these scenarios was also included in the assessment, and all options were considered such that the existing vehicle travel lanes on the lower deck will be maintained. Limited inspection and analysis was provided only to support conceptual level findings and costing.

    Background
    Opened in 1912, the HLB is a relatively complex structure, with two deck levels, numerous span and truss configurations, and a variety of substructure components. There are over 5,000 individual steel members in the structure and a thousand different member sizes and configurations, with a long history of modifications. When the City of Edmonton took over the HLB from CP Rail, the bridge required major rehabilitation to be able to carry the desired roadway and pedestrian loads (with railway removed). Main truss members had serious loss of section and required strengthening or replacement, the road deck required full rehabilitation, and the entire structure required re-coating. In 1995, to extend the life of the structure to 2045, many main truss and pier bent members were strengthened or replaced and most the structure received a new coating, requiring removal of the original lead based paint; remaining parts did not have the coating removed at all. Upper deck steel members had reached their theoretical fatigue life, governing what possible future loadings could be considered on the upper deck.

    Overall condition of the structure, including corrosion and loss of section of the steel members remains a serious concern since so much of the structure has lost strength. The coating is no longer protecting the steel in some areas; some of the connection plates have deteriorated due to section loss, and pack-rust is bending the plates and weakening the connection.

    It is important to note that 1995 strengthening work did not restore the capacity of the structure to support rail loading; past damage and the current condition of the structure will both affect the ability of the structure to carry any proposed new large load increases.

    HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE FEASIBILITY STUDY AND CONCEPTUAL BRIDGE MODIFICATION STRATEGY REPORT
    Summary of Findings
    From visual inspection and thickness measurements, we estimate that the average section loss of truss members that was 44% in 1994 has increased by 5%, which is also true of upper deck railway stringers and floor beams (58% and 50% respectively in 1994).

    1. Option 1

    • This option is possible from an overall truss load capacity perspective without strengthening truss members. However due to the large 4.2 m clear cantilever, major structural steel struts are required and we have significant concerns about the need for localized truss strengthening to support the consequent reactions. The option is considered marginally feasible but if an alternative can be found that does not involve excessive struts and local truss strengthening then that alternative should be considered 1. Concept level cost estimate $23.7m (in 2017 terms)2

    1. Option 2 (Option 3 similar)

    • The load combination of two LRT tracks and wide Upper Deck SUP (Option 2 or 3) exceeds the total baseline service load for the substructure and superstructure by 26% and over 70% respectively. These are significant demands for a 100+ yr. old structure that has lost a significant amount of its capacity due to corrosion.
    • The load combination of LRT and Upper Deck SUP, with or without lower deck widening (Option 2 or 3) overloads the substructure such that all land foundations would need to be investigated and strengthened/underpinned. It is recommended that neither Option 2 or 3 is viable / NOT feasible for this reason.
    • The load combination of LRT and Upper Deck SUP, with or without lower deck widening (Option 2 or 3) overloads the superstructure such that about 50% of all the truss members would need to be strengthened or replaced. We recommend that due to the extensive strengthening required to support the proposed loading, and given the age of the bridge, this option is not practical / NOT feasible.

    Concept level cost estimates are available for both Option 2 and 3 in Section 6.

    1 Widening the lower sidewalks will not meet capacity and separation requirements set out in TAC guidelines. Based on the volumes, separation of modes will be required to support expansion to the City’s cycling network to HLB and allow safe operations 2 Class D +/- 50%

    HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE FEASIBILITY STUDY AND CONCEPTUAL BRIDGE MODIFICATION STRATEGY REPORT

    Discussion of Risks of LRT on HLB3

    1. General Risk of Committing LRT to 100+ yr. old bridge. There is a general risk of committing new LRT lines to a 100+ yr. old bridge that has suffered serious corrosion and section loss prior to 1994, with some further deterioration since. Beyond capacity and strengthening issues for LRT loading, there are concerns regarding uncertain present and future corrosion and section loss, fatigue, and the ability of the structure to provide the desired service life. Given this, we do not consider it prudent to invest large expenditures to modify the structure when future bridge closure or replacement may be required.

    2. Achieving Desired 100 Year Service Life In 1995, the structure was rehabilitated with a desire to extend life by an additional 50 yrs. (i.e. to 2045). The current LRT Design Guidelines require a design service life of 100 years. i.e. 2130 if completed in 2030. This is a demanding requirement that is not practical for a 100-yr. old structure with existing damage due to corrosion, uncertain future deterioration, and fatigue issues. Given the City’s current maintenance effort on HLB, a design life to 2045 is achievable for current loading, and there is margin of safety because the structure is not stressed to the limit under current loading. If the structure condition deteriorates, design (truck) loading can be reduced without impacting general use of the bridge. With nominal LRT loading the strengthened structure would be more highly stressed; the only option to reduce loads would be to restrict LRT loading, which is not desirable. In our opinion the desired 100 yr. service life cannot be achieved with any certainty.

    3. Increased Loading of Aging, Deteriorated, and Riveted Structure Constructed between 1906-1912, the HLB steel superstructure and pier bents comprise built-up steel plate members fastened with rivets, and riveted plates connect individual members. In 1995, deterioration of these connection plates was slowed using a corrosion inhibitor followed by coating of the entire structure. The extent of ongoing deterioration inside the connections is unknown (not visible); pack rust will build inside the connection, causing plates to bend, rivets to be overloaded, and the connection is in jeopardy. If this is not mitigated then very costly repairs consisting of removal and replacement with new plates and bolts will be required or loading must be reduced on the bridge. With heavy rail loading removed, loading on HLB is less than original and in 1995 only a few connections with visible severe section loss were replaced. With increased corrosion, and significant increase in loading, this assumption will not be valid; the consequences of connection failure can be serious. Together with corrosion and section loss in the rest of the structure, these are causes for concern when a large increase in load is considered on aging structure of this type. Because of this, we cannot recommend a significant increase in loading on the bridge. 3 For lower loads and non-dynamic loads, these risks are non-applicable or less severe.
    https://www.edmonton.ca/documents/Hi...xecSummary.pdf

  52. #352

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    Grandma was born in 1913 & while she was a hard worker, quietly & dependably lifting/moving heavy stuff every day, during the early part of the 20th century she didn't take the best care of herself (neither in the style of the time nor what we understand to be best practices in the clarity of hindsight). She remained a valuable part of the family every day, doing her job as best she can. By the 1990s she was in some rough shape so she got a hip replacement to get back some functionality & improve her quality of life. Was it perfect? Nope. But it did the job & let her go about her day, albeit with far less to do than in her prime.

    A couple of years ago the neighbourhood kids thought she wasn't looking cool enough in her old age so they gave her a gaudy makeover & are now trying to figure out the best way to get grandma back up to full working capacity capable of schlepping the same loads she did in her youth, before a lifetime of wear, tear & neglect sunk into her very bones.

    Maybe it's time we let grandma rest instead of trying to expensively turn back the clock on a century of neglect on a bridge who's only real remarkable feature is how old it is & how it's managed to survive so long while being as terrible as it can be at accomplishing its one meager task as it can be while still standing. It's a terrible bridge to drive, walk or cycle over, which is kinda the whole raison d'etre for bridges.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  53. #353
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    Seems to me, given that the HLB will be needing a pretty large amount of work within 25-30 years to even maintain it's current use, that it may well make sense to plan for it's eventual removal. If a new bridge will be required for LRT, then why not also incorporate roadways and multi-use paths as well? It would be a shame to lose such a historical bridge, but given the amount of work required to rehabilitate it within a few decades and the need for an entirely separate bridge to serve LRT directly beside it I just don't see it making sense to keep both it and build a new bridge. Either spend a billion or so on rebuilding the HLB so it can handle LRT, or a billion or so on a new bridge to replace it that will also handle LRT.

    Doing each separately seems terribly shortsighted. Which I'm sure means that's the way we'll end up going.

  54. #354

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    I think that repurposing the bridge for LRT is risky, will prove to be unexpectedly expensive and the life will be short without extensive maintenance on a bridge that was not maintained well by CP for decades. The trajectory I see forming will be another expensive mega project, the third LRT only bridge, this one costing over $500M IMHO.

    The multiuse (2 streetcar/ railway and 2 lane road) HLB was built in 1911 for $2M, $44M in today's dollars. The cost of a new bridge would be at least 12 times that. Then you have the cost to build the line on both sides of the river and down Whyte ave.

    Time to look into alternatives

    I strongly believe that Edmonton and Whyte Ave would be better served at a much lower cost with an aerial tramway. One line down Whyte from the UofA to Bonnie Doon Mall and one line from Whyte Ave to Rogers Downtown.

    Heck, there are gondolas that exist that have free spans of 3 kilometers that could literally span the river from one pole on Whyte and one at Rogers without a intermediate pole in a single span. That is not practical or what I am suggesting but a multispan design is practical and cost efficient. No waiting, no schedules, available 24/7
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; Today at 09:18 AM.
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  55. #355

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    It's a perfectly fine bridge to drive over for the 99% of vehicles that fit under the available headroom. That it's width makes it lower speed than a replacement would be today is more a feature than a bug.
    There can only be one.

  56. #356

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Seems to me, given that the HLB will be needing a pretty large amount of work within 25-30 years to even maintain it's current use, that it may well make sense to plan for it's eventual removal. If a new bridge will be required for LRT, then why not also incorporate roadways and multi-use paths as well? It would be a shame to lose such a historical bridge, but given the amount of work required to rehabilitate it within a few decades and the need for an entirely separate bridge to serve LRT directly beside it I just don't see it making sense to keep both it and build a new bridge. Either spend a billion or so on rebuilding the HLB so it can handle LRT, or a billion or so on a new bridge to replace it that will also handle LRT.

    Doing each separately seems terribly shortsighted. Which I'm sure means that's the way we'll end up going.
    Building an LRT crossing right next to the one we've already got is already so myopic that it doesn't matter how they decide to accommodate it.

    It's a **** decision either way.
    There can only be one.

  57. #357
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH
    The report says absolutely nothing about the piers so I can guess they must be in good shape.
    Yes, it does. The piers are the "substructure".

    • The load combination of LRT and Upper Deck SUP, with or without lower deck widening (Option 2 or 3) overloads the substructure such that all land foundations would need to be investigated and strengthened/underpinned. It is recommended that neither Option 2 or 3 is viable / NOT feasible for this reason.
    To add SUP and LRT to the top deck will add so much weight to the bridge that the piers will also need to be rebuilt to support it. It's going to be the equivalent of building a new bridge to add that much load to it, given how poorly it's been maintained and that it's over 100 years old. Maybe that makes sense, maybe an entirely new bridge does, I don't profess to know. But it's not as simple as slapping a fresh coat of paint and some cantilevered structure on the top deck.

  58. #358
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    Building an LRT crossing right next to the one we've already got is already so myopic that it doesn't matter how they decide to accommodate it.

    It's a **** decision either way.
    I mostly agree, but the caveat there is the current LRT crossing is what, 70+ feet lower than the top of the bank where the LRT needs to get to. To use for the planned central LRT will require the huge expense of tunneling or some new structure at the south end of Menzies to get the LRT line up to grade. I agree that the central LRT circulator won't be needed for decades, but given the lifespan of bridge infrastructure, that means it needs to be taken in to consideration for future planning now. Otherwise in 30 years we'll have spent a few hundred million rebuilding the HLB just to maintain current use, and will still need another LRT bridge nearby or some charlie foxtrot combination of tunneling and additional structure to use the Menzies.

  59. #359

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Seems to me, given that the HLB will be needing a pretty large amount of work within 25-30 years to even maintain it's current use, that it may well make sense to plan for it's eventual removal. If a new bridge will be required for LRT, then why not also incorporate roadways and multi-use paths as well? It would be a shame to lose such a historical bridge, but given the amount of work required to rehabilitate it within a few decades and the need for an entirely separate bridge to serve LRT directly beside it I just don't see it making sense to keep both it and build a new bridge. Either spend a billion or so on rebuilding the HLB so it can handle LRT, or a billion or so on a new bridge to replace it that will also handle LRT.

    Doing each separately seems terribly shortsighted. Which I'm sure means that's the way we'll end up going.
    That's pretty much what I said last week in this thread.

  60. #360

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    Why do we even need another LRT bridge? Connect UofA with Bonnie doon, and call it a day. Transfers to downtown can happen on the existing LRT line.

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    How would that be accomplished, though? U of A is 75 feet underground. So tunneling and daylighting would be required and be hugely disruptive to Garneau, and possibly not even possible without removing some of the newly built student housing in the area. Given the costs of tunneling and possibly losing recently built housing, I'm not sure that would be any cheaper than a new LRT bridge. I suppose you could do it from south of Health Sciences, but that would basically be the end of 114th, which is bad enough as it is. No simple solutions that I can see.

  62. #362

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    ^^ Medwards:

    Absolutely.

    If we need another LRT crossing in 50 years it can be in a completely new location where it can provide new connections. Honestly pretty much anywhere else within the inner ring would be better.
    There can only be one.

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