Burying transmission lines may speed development in downtown

Burying transmission lines in Riverlands will help quicken redevelopment in the downtown area, according to a report going forward to Red Deer city council on Monday.

Burying transmission lines in Riverlands will help quicken redevelopment in the downtown area, according to a report going forward to Red Deer city council on Monday.

Council will consider authorizing an agreement with AltaLink for the full burial of the 700 metres of transmission line. The cost is estimated at $8.7 million, with $8.1 million from approved landmark funding and the remainder to come from the city’s capital project reserve.

The report shows that this line, if not buried, would either limit the size and development potential of the riverfront parcels or it obstructs the view from higher density projects adjacent to the river.

The city owns five sites that are directly affected by the transmission line — high density residential, a promenade along the river’s edge, a mixed use area adjacent to the promenade and a plaza; a medium to high density residential/mixed use development with ground floor commercial/retail; and a hotel/convention centre and public parkade.

Located west of Taylor Drive, Riverlands will evolve into a mixed-use district supporting culture, entertainment and community gathering places. It includes an upscale hotel and convention centre on the former civic yards site, a prominent riverwalk, a public plaza, boutique shops and artist studios.

Waterways would extend from the conference centre to a main public square, although they could end up in privately owned areas as well.

City council will also consider approving the 2011-2025 Transmission Master Plan. Its intent is to develop a long-term view of the electric power transmission and bulk distribution requirements to meet Red Deer’s expected load growth.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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