The City of
Ottawa revealed the proposed plan to build the second phase
of the LRT system which, among other things, will see the
Confederation Line extended from Blair Station to Trim Road
by 2024 and include a series of six stations at Montreal
Road, Jeanne d’Arc Blvd., Orléans Blvd., Place d’Orléans
and Trim Road.
The plan also
calls for the Confederation Line to be extended westward
from Tunney’s Pasture to Algonquin College and Moodie Drive;
and for the O-Train to be extended southbound to South Keys
where it will split off into two spurs – one going to the
airport and the other to Riverside South.
East West Connectors
has been chosen as the preferred builder to do the work
on the Confederation Line and TransitNext is the preferred
builder to do the work on the O-Train extension which will
be called the Trinity Line.
Work on both
extensions is scheduled to begin later this year should
council approve the plan at a special meeting this week.
cost of Phase 2 has ballooned from $3.5 billion to $4.66
billion. That is alarming enough, but even more alarming
is the fact that city tax- payers will be on the hook for
the full amount of the additional cost. That’s because the
provincial and federal governments have each promised to
contribute $1 billion to the project leaving $2.66 billion
to be financed by the city.
which would be the biggest debt the city has ever taken
on, has a lot of councillors nervous. Some are even considering
delaying a decision on the project to allow further input
from residents, but staff have indicated that any delay
could result in an even higher price tag.
The city’s director
of planning for the LRT, Chris Swail, says the increase
in the projected cost is due the “increased scope” of Phase
2, which added $700 million to the tab, and “market pressures”
which resulted in another $500 million.
provided by the bidding companies are only guaranteed until
the end of March. If city council were to delay their decision
past the end of the month, the two companies would be entitled
to resubmit their bids which would undoubtedly be higher.
ouncillor Diane Deans is leading the call for further public
consulatation. She has reservations about the ballooning
estimated cost and the fact that SNC Lavalin is the company
chosen to complete the Trinity Line.
“It can’t be
LRT at any cost,” Deans recently told the Ottawa Citizen.
“It has to make financial sense and we have to be able to
pay the bill at the end of the day.. and I think we need
to ask the taxpayers if they’re still on board. After all,
they’re footing the bill for this.”
But Mayor Jim
Watson says that any thought of delaying Phase 2, or cancelling
it altogether, is “absolutely asinine”. He expects that
council will approve staff’s recommendation at this week’s
council meeting because the residents of Ottawa are “very
much on board” with LRT and expect it to be completed in
There is no doubt
it will be a game-changer for the residents of Orléans who
will have access to five stations along the Confederation
Line which will run down the middle of Hwy. 174.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our
local business partners.)