Ottawa announces new details for Stage 2 LRT project

The City of Ottawa has provided an update about plans to move forward with the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project.

City Staff also provided a detailed presentation of a related report on Stage 2 LRT, in advance of the tabling of the report at the Finance and Economic Development Committee on February 24, and at City Council on March 8. The briefing included an update on significant changes to the scope of the project, information on the final alignment adjustments, the recommended procurement model and the specific activities the City will undertake to get ready to implement Stage 2.

Following extensive public consultation and preliminary engineering work, an expansion of the scope of the Stage 2 LRT Project is being proposed, in order to extend light rail further and faster to the West, South and East:

  • Confederation Line West: beyond Bayshore to Moodie Drive, and southwest to Algonquin College;
  • Confederation Line East: beyond Place d’Orleans to Trim Road;
  • Trillium Line extension to Bowesville and Riverside South; and
  • An Airport Rail Link from South Keys Station on the Trillium Line.

As part of the Western Line extension, an additional Maintenance and Storage Facility will be built in the Moodie Drive area to continue to fast-track LRT progress westerly and service the 8,500 public servants at the new Department of National Defence employment hub at the former Nortel Networks campus.

The briefing also laid out the City’s innovative approach to the procurement of the Stage 2 Project, continuing to work with existing partner Rideau Transit Group (RTG) to ensure an integrated and consistent expanded system while maximizing the amount of work to be procured under new competitions.

The Stage 2 expansion of the O-Train network will be undertaken through two new procurements:

  • A new $2.5-billion Design-Build-Finance competition for the Confederation Line East and West extensions (includes Airport, Trim and Highway 417, and City-bundled works); and
  • A new $535-million Design-Build-Finance-Maintain competition for the Trillium Line extension.

The $3 billion in light rail contracts will be bundled with additional municipal infrastructure projects in order to improve construction integration, reduce detours, save money, and reduce impacts to the community. The total of over $3.6 billion in combined work will generate over 21,000 person-years of employment.

Upon approval of this report by Council, the project will go to market later this winter. A final report will be brought forward in early 2018 outlining the results of the procurement process and related activities, leading to the final design and beginning of construction. The Stage 2 project will proceed with staggered openings to allow for faster expansions to LRT service:

  • Trillium Line South extension in 2021
  • Confederation Line East including Trim in 2022
  • Confederation Line West to Moodie by 2023

The Stage 2 LRT Project budget is $3 billion (excluding the Trim Extension with one station at $160 million, and the Airport Rail Link with two stations at $155 million). The Trim and Airport extensions will only proceed if they are fully funded by the federal and provincial governments; on June 3, 2016 the province of Ontario has committed to covering half of the capital costs for both of these projects. Once the federal funding commitment is confirmed, the City can proceed with the release of the Stage 2 Request for Proposals. The Moodie extension is expected to be achievable within the original budget envelope for Stage 2.

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