RVA launches $90 Million Capital Program

NEWS RELEASE: January 23, 2013

Funding for 13 initiatives in six municipalities will improve access and enjoyment of river valley.

The River Valley Alliance (RVA) launched a $90-million capital program that will improve public access to the North Saskatchewan River and river valley, and add new trails and features to existing infrastructure in what is North America’s longest metropolitan park system. The program was made possible with support from the federal and provincial governments.

“Throughout Alberta, we are supporting key initiatives that will improve local infrastructure, and keep our economy competitive and our communities strong,” said the Honourable Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government is proud to provide significant funding for these roads, bridges, and trails as we focus on creating jobs, promoting growth and building strong, prosperous communities across Canada.”

Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk said, “The Alberta government strongly supports the vision of the River Valley Alliance of enhancing the river valley park system. We have supported the organization since it was formed in providing better access and enjoyment of the river valley throughout the capital region. This is a significant program that will benefit both our economy and quality of life, while providing major recreational attractions that all Albertans can enjoy.”

“We are delighted that all three orders of government designated funding to enable us to start the first major phase of our Plan of Action,” said Christopher Sheard, chair of the RVA Board of Directors. “These initiatives will bring social, economic and environmental benefits to citizens and communities along the river valley. The program will go a long way to improve access to the river and make the connections between people and communities that are needed to fulfill our dream: to develop a continuous, publicly accessible river valley park.”

The 13 initiatives within the capital program will add and rehabilitate approximately 74 kilometres of recreation trail across six municipalities, a number of docks or boat launches, a pedestrian footbridge in Edmonton, and a mechanized access amenity from downtown Edmonton to a waterfront promenade. Planning and feasibility studies for several projects are expected to begin immediately with some construction starts anticipated in spring 2013.

The Government of Canada will contribute up to one-third of total eligible costs, to a maximum of $30 million towards this initiative through the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component subject to the successful conclusion of a contribution agreement. The Alberta Government and RVA member municipalities previously allocated $30 million each toward this $90-million program.

River Valley Alliance is a collaboration of the seven municipalities along the capital region’s North Saskatchewan River Valley: Town of Devon, Parkland County, Leduc County, City of Edmonton, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County and City of Fort Saskatchewan. The partners in the RVA share a common goal – to preserve, protect and enhance the river valley park system for the year round accessibility and enjoyment of citizens and visitors. The 88 km capital region river valley park system is the longest metropolitan park in North America.