Stitching a Needle
The proposed 2.5 kilometer alignment from Downtown, to West Rossdale, and over the North Saskatchewan River to Old Strathcona will take less than 12 minutes.
Finding the optimal alignment turned into an exercise of stitching the needle through an already heavily developed city. We had to avoid existing buildings, critical infrastructure, sensitive ecological areas and the baseball diamond. We wanted to make sure the cabins were travelling several meters above the river valley tree canopy, allowing for the trees to grow naturally. We also avoided flying over privately owned land and near buildings to minimize privacy concerns and any impact to future developments.
Gondola systems can only run in straight lines, this is called The One Machine Principle.
As soon as there is any deviation – a bend or kink, a turn station is required. If we tried to directly connect the Power Plant and Downtown stations, we would be flying over the baseball field and some private residences. To avoid this, we introduced the Ortona station, which is located just north of 97 Ave.
Our current alignment is represented below with station and tower locations as well as tower heights. The highest tower being 37.4 meters tall.