Yesterday, the Ottawa City Council voted to advance the 12.5km long Ottawa Light Rail Transit project. The approved report contains an updated cost estimate to within the $2.1bn following a re-design of the project’s 2.5km long central Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel.
The revised Queen Street alignment outlined in the report brings the tunnel closer to the surface, reduces risk and improves cost certainty for construction. The report also recommends a Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) procurement approach that will secure a fixed price contract to construct and maintain the LRT system from Tunney’s Pasture in the west to Blair Road in the east. This 13 station LRT system includes the tunnel through the downtown core to address the transit bottleneck that slows service and challenges the reliability of the system today. This procurement approach will ensure this project is on time and on budget while taking advantage of the ingenuity and innovative ideas of private sector partners, says the Ottawa Council.
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“The vote today signals this Council’s strong support for our improved plan to build an efficient, functional and affordable light rail system for our riders,” said Mayor Jim Watson.”
“The LRT will ease congestion on our downtown streets, reinvigorate our city core, create opportunities for smart development and lay the foundation for future expansion of our transit network.”
“This report is the result of extensive work done over the last few months to deliver on the accelerated timeline and cost challenge from the Mayor and Council,” said City Manager, Kent Kirkpatrick. “Staff was directed to initiate a more detailed review of the capital and operating budgets for providing public transit in Ottawa. As a result, the engineering and project teams have worked very hard rethinking assumptions and defining a better light rail system that can be built within the approved budget.”The City of Ottawa commenced its request for qualifications process to identify firms with a proven track record in delivering successful LRT solutions to cities around the globe. See: http://tunnellingjournal.com/news/rfqs-called-for-ottawa-lrt/