The City of Edmonton has opened its 100 Street Funicular, a project that creates an accessible connection from downtown to its scenic River Valley trail network.
Known as the Mechanized River Valley Access project during construction, it features Edmonton’s and Canada’s only funicular. The project is 260 metres (850 feet) from the top of the promontory to the trail landing and can hold up to 20 people. Construction began in 2016 and was completed on time by Graham Construction.
“The Mechanized River Valley Access creates a unique space from which to experience our beautiful River Valley and an opportunity for those of all abilities to access and enjoy our city’s greatest asset,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “The bridge lookout will hereby be known as the Frederick G. Todd Lookout, named after the 20th Century landscape architect who envisioned Edmonton’s River Valley parks system.”
Designed by Dialog, the project involved building a staircase from 100 Street by the Hotel Macdonald to the Low Level Bridge area of the trail below. An adjacent funicular accommodates bikes, trailers, strollers and specialized equipment like wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
There is a promenade halfway down and a grassy rest area featuring functional art. There is also a new pedestrian bridge with a lookout over the North Saskatchewan River offering unparalleled views of the City’s signature River Valley.
The City of Edmonton has long sought to improve connectivity for the public between urban areas and the North Saskatchewan River valley, and this project is a major step towards greater connectivity throughout the city.