TZL 1403 (web)


BUSINESS NEWS AECOM TO CONTINUE OWNER’S ENGINEER ROLE ON EDMONTON VALLEY LINE LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT EXTENSION AS PROJECT ENTERS NEXT PHASE AECOM , the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, announced that the AECOM- led ConnectED Transit Partnership has been approved by the city of Edmonton to continue its role as owner’s engineer on the Valley Line light rail transit extension. The CAD$124 million contract value amendment encompasses design and construction compliance review services for Valley Line West, which is entering construction, and additional work on Valley Line Southeast, which is currently under construction. “This contract amendment demonstrates our commitment to the city of Edmonton and the value delivered by CTP on the project thus

far,” said Marc Devlin, AECOM’s regional chief executive, Canada. “In just ten years, the city has advanced this massive LRT system to construction. We congratulate them and are proud to have played a part in this tremendous success. We look forward to work ramping up as we enter this next phase of the project, which, once complete, will enhance the lives of Edmontonians with affordable, sustainable, and transformative public transit.” AECOM and its CTP partners have served as owner’s engineer on the Valley Line LRT since preliminary design began in 2011. The team has successfully mobilized and continued to advance work on the project throughout 2020 and 2021, despite COVID-19 challenges. As construction on Valley Line West commences, it is expected to support post-pandemic

recovery through the creation of thousands of jobs. The Edmonton LRT Valley Line extension is a CAD$4.2 billion low-floor, urban line that encompasses a total of 27 kilometres of double track, a 500 metre tunnel, two kilometres of elevated structures, and 28 stations. The project also includes a new light rail vehicle operations and maintenance facility, five transit centres, two park-and-ride facilities, and several bridges. Construction on Valley Line Southeast is expected to be complete this year and construction on Valley Line West is expected to be complete by 2027. AECOM delivers professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to program and construction management.

JANE LAWLER SMITH, from page 3

Stepping onto almost any college campus with certain architects and landscape architects I know, invariably turns into a lesson in architectural styles, aesthetics, and circulation. So yes, take a walk with expert eyes! With your specific assignment in mind, think about the people who are closest to the project, and invite them to visit the site with you. On any given project, the professional, depending on their discipline, will notice different things. The architect’s eyes will likely be drawn to the structure – the materials used, the shape and proportion, the details. The engineer may point out the rain garden or search for the location of the HVAC units. As the marketing professional, you may not immediately focus on any of these details, but if they are extremely well done, innovative, or integral to the success of the project, they need to be part of the story you are telling. Your experts will undoubtedly reveal them to you. If challenges like distance, or perhaps a pandemic, limit your ability to go to the site in-person, use photos or video. Having visual reminders of the specifics of the complete project will help to spur thoughts and focus throughout your interview. An advantage here is the ability to easily show the same project in different conditions – morning, noon, and night and winter, spring, summer, and fall. Seeing the same space in varying conditions can be especially valuable and impactful for certain types of projects. Additionally, whether in-person or through photos/video, seeing a space in use can be marvelously revealing and add life to your interview and writing, training a lens on the ultimate users and their experience of the space as well. One of the best things about working for an AEC firm is being able to walk in, around, and through a space you have helped to create. So, let’s do that! Let’s get out there, take a walk with our co-workers, peers, and clients, and harness the power of storytelling together. JANE LAWLER SMITH, MBA, is the marketing manager at Derck & Edson, LLC. She can be reached at

are looking to create. Are you writing content for a blog post on your company website? Are you creating an article for an industry publication? Examining your purpose will help to frame your story as well as help to choose the individuals to interview. Of course, the actual interview is made easier when working with people who are naturally inclined to engage. As Katie Crawford points out, some people may genuinely enjoy the opportunity to do something slightly different, yet still productive and project-related, during their workday. “With your specific assignment in mind, think about the people who are closest to the project, and invite them to visit the site with you. On any given project, the professional, depending on their discipline, will notice different things.” But what happens when you encounter a project expert who is less inclined to engage or uncomfortable with the process? Whether your expert is a co-worker, professional peer, or a client, taking a walk may be the key to success. In the book On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz, the author uses the power of a walk to uncover fascinating content and details. Although Horowitz does not include any AEC professionals in her book, I have taken many walks with architects, engineers, planners, and landscape architects. I have been rushing to the rental car at the airport and been delayed by the engineer who is admiring a rain garden or particularly well-designed detention basin. I have been approaching a conference hotel with planners who can’t help but comment on the flow – or lack of flow – that is inherent in the journey from parking garage to hotel entrance.

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