Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ottawa light rail receives Canadian government environmental OK

An artist’s concept of LeBreton Station An artist’s concept of LeBreton Station OLRT

The City of Ottawa has received Federal Environmental Assessment approval for the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) project from the Canadian government.

Work to achieve Federal Environmental Assessment approval began in earnest in March 2010. With this announcement, the federal government now joins the provincial government, which granted its environmental assessment approval in August 2010.

"This project is the largest, most complex infrastructure project in the city's history and today, we have achieved a very important milestone," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. "The federal government's endorsement of our approach is a critical step forward for us as we move towards finishing the RFP and selecting the team that will build this project."

The OLRT project is currently in the Request-for-Proposals (RFP) phase of the procurement process. Three world-class consortia have been shortlisted to compete for the project contract and Council is scheduled to ratify the winner in late 2012. Construction of the OLRT project would begin in early 2013.

The OLRT project will generate more than C$3.2 billion (US$3.15 billion) in economic activity and 20,000 person-years of employment during construction alone. Once built, the system will carry in excess of 10,000 people per hour per direction during the morning rush hour and save transit riders approximately 15 minutes from their daily commutes.