Elected officials teamed up to complete the assembly of the first road header, the machine that will excavate the downtown tunnel and stations. Each placed a steel tooth on to the cutting drum as a symbol of the cooperation between the three levels of government in delivering this city-transforming project.
"We are proud to collaborate with the provincial and municipal governments on this important project," said Royal Galipeau, member of Parliament for Ottaway- Orléans "The Confederation Line will make commuting more convenient and will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, resulting in improved quality of life for families in the area."
"The Confederation Line is the backbone of our future transportation network," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. "I'm pleased we have reached this important milestone on our way to removing the bottleneck of buses in the downtown core."
The Confederation Line is a CA$2.1-billion (US$2-million) project that is jointly funded by the Canadian government, the province of Ontario and the city of Ottawa.
This project is the first stage in Ottawa's future rail network. The 12.5-kilometer (7.7-mile) electric light-rail system replaces existing diesel powered buses, providing rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney's Pasture in the west. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5-kilometer (1.5-mile) tunnel that will alleviate congestion through the downtown core.