A major landowner along the Green Line is suggesting the city should scale back its plans.
Rising costs for construction materials and uncertainty about not having enough money to get the line through the downtown has the head of Remington Development Corporation, Cody Clayton, suggesting alternatives.
City council finalized the Green Line route last year, but Clayton says he’s worried.
He told a city council committee Wednesday that the city should build just the southeast leg. Then, instead of going into a tunnel under 11th Avenue in Victoria Park, keep the CTrain on the surface and temporarily end it at 10th Avenue and 4th Street S.E..
“This will significantly de-risk the project, allow the city to secure pricing from multiple bids in a market that shows a very high likelihood of continued price escalations, and ensure you have the money remaining to complete the project,” he said.
‘Alignment chosen was the absolute best’
The chair of the Green Line committee, Coun. Shane Keating, said people may not like council’s approved route, but he calls this the best plan.
“Council can change it if you have 10 votes to change it. That is not likely going to happen. I believe there is absolutely no appetite by any member of council to try and change it,” he said.
Keating said numerous people keep coming forward with ideas for different Green Line alignments.
But they aren’t aware of the many possibilities the city has already considered and rejected for a variety of reasons.
For example, the Green Line team has previously compared alignments on 10th, 11th and 12th Avenues in the Beltline.
But the head of the Green Line, Michael Thompson told the committee the one selected, under 11th Avenue, was technically the best and the cheapest option.
“When somebody has an idea and you don’t agree with them, then you’re wrong period. Those who are open will understand that the alignment chosen was the absolute best alignment for a number of reasons. Cost. Service to the residents — both north and south and service to the core.”
The city says it’s close to a Green Line funding deal with the province but construction is now delayed until next year.