Confederation Line tunnel construction near the Lyon Street station. Photo courtesy of City of Ottawa.

LRT deadline reset for November

By Isaac Würmann

Ottawa’s new light rail transit line is expected to start shuttling beneath the streets of Centretown by the end of November, Mayor Jim Watson announced at a finance and economic development committee meeting on Feb. 6.

The Confederation Line was initially expected to open at the end of May.

Rideau Transit Group, the consortium building the project, says the massive sinkhole on Rideau Street that occurred in June 2016 was to blame for the delay, the Ottawa Citizen reported.

“When this whole process started seven years ago, coming up with a specific date was not exactly a scientific exercise, quite frankly. You don’t know all of the variables around this very complex project,” Watson told the Citizen. “I’ve always said my goal was to see the trains running with passengers in 2018 and we’re doing that.”

Watson said that RTG is expected to hand over the project to the city on Nov. 2, and the line will be open to the public by the end of that month.

John Manconi, the city’s general manager of transportation, has indicated that RTG will start testing trains in the 2.5-kilometre tunnel that runs under Centretown in the spring.

Although RTD did not face a penalty for delaying the LRT opening past the initial deadline, the mayor said it will face a $1-million penalty if it does not deliver the project by November.