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Edmonton council approves 1st step for gondola across North Saskatchewan River

Click to play video 'Gondola moves another step  forward with Edmonton city council approval' Gondola moves another step forward with Edmonton city council approval
In a tight vote at Edmonton city council, Prairie Sky — the private backers of the urban gondola project — won support for their framework agreement. Sarah Ryan explains what that means for the venture moving forward. – Feb 22, 2021

A proposal from a private company to build a gondola across Edmonton’s river valley will keep moving forward after city council approved an important first step.

In an 8-5 vote, councillors have approved a framework for a working relationship with Prairie Sky Gondola.

READ MORE: Edmonton river valley gondola should advance to detailed design phase: city report 

The company wants to string cable cars across the North Saskatchewan River between downtown and Whyte Avenue, a popular street with bars, restaurants and stores.

Prairie Sky Gondola says it does not want any money from the city for the project, which the company says would cost between $132 million and $155 million.

Click to play video 'Edmonton city council to make decision on proposed urban gondola' Edmonton city council to make decision on proposed urban gondola
Edmonton city council to make decision on proposed urban gondola – Feb 16, 2021

Despite council’s go-ahead, the company will still be required to go through public consultation and several more detailed assessments.

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The approval of land dedicated to the project will also need to be considered by council.

During a committee meeting last week, council members heard from about 30 people.

Some were supportive of the proposal, while others were concerned about environmental impacts and a lack of Indigenous input.