Edmonton’s new downtown-to-Mill Woods LRT line is expected to be open to the public by the end of the year, but a resident living along the route is not impressed with how it’s impacting his property.
Wayne Sortland, a resident of the Strathearn area for his entire life, said he’s not opposed to the Valley Line Southeast running in front of his house along 95 Avenue, but he has concerns about the elevated sidewalk.
Sortland believes the elevation will create a drainage issue and a safety concern.
“I’m worried that if a child coming down here or an older person falls into my yard then they could hurt themselves, so I want a railing,” he said.
TransEd, the company building the line, said the elevation in front of the short stretch of homes along 95 Avenue, near 89 Street, was necessary to accommodate existing utilities under the road.
Dallas Lindskoog, a spokesperson for TransEd, said the retaining wall is not more than two feet high and therefore doesn’t need a railing to meet Alberta Building Code.
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Sortland said he’s also concerned about the water draining properly away from his house.
He said he’s planning on installing some wells around his basement windows to ensure the water drains away from his house. Sortland said his wife will also plant some bushes or flowers to absorb some of the potential water.
“We’re 65 and 64 years old and seems like we’re responsible for doing all the upgrades,” Sortland said.
In a statement, Lindskoog said: “The front yard of these properties drain south to the back alley, and therefore the elevated sidewalk has not created a ‘dam’ that would cause north flowing water to pond against the new retaining wall.”
Sortland said his front yard should be slopping towards the street.
“They’re not looking after the people who are living in the neighbourhood. A lot of people have moved. The houses are for rent.”
“I just want my neighbourhood to look beautiful when they’re done.”
The city councillor for the area, Ben Henderson, said his office has recently become aware of the concerns and is looking in them.
Lindskoog said TransEd is not able to provide an exact date for when the Valley Line Southeast will be open, but that it’s aiming for before the end of the year.
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