Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ottawa approves Confederation Line, construction to begin in spring 2013

In Ottawa, ON, Canada, the Confederation light-rail transit line was approved by the city council in a unanimous vote.

The council endorsed the selection of the Rideau Transit Group (RTG), a consortium of engineering firms, to build the Confederation Line at a fixed capital price of C$2.1 billion (US$2.125 billion). The Confederation Line is the 12.5-kilometer (7.8-mile) light-rail transit project that is the backbone of Ottawa's new rail and rapid bus public transit system, with 13 rail stations.

"Today marks a tremendous accomplishment for our council and our city," said Ottowa Mayor Jim Watson. "Together, we provided staff with clear direction that this project must be delivered on time and on budget. Working with our partners in Infrastructure Ontario, we have an impressive and comprehensive plan to get us there."

The city will enter into a formal agreement with RTG to design, build, finance and maintain the line from Tunney's Pasture to Blair Station. With this in place, construction is expected to begin in late February, when RTG will begin widening Highway 417 between Nicholas Street and the 417/174 split.

Funding for the Confederation Line is being provided by the Canadian government, the government of Ontario and the city of Ottawa. The Canadian government is contributing CA$600 million (US$607 million) through the Building Canada Fund. The city will also allocate up to CA$192 million (US$194 million) of its Federal Gas Tax fund receipts to this project. The government of Ontario is contributing CA$600 million (US$607 million) in direct grant contributions. In addition, the city will allocate CA$287 million (US$290 million) of its Provincial Gas Tax receipts to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

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