At long last…the Confederation LRT Line will be handed over to the City of Ottawa at the end of March and should be ready to roll by the end of April. That’s according to new estimates provided by the consortium building the $2.1-billion light-rail system.
Rideau Transit Group’s announcement comes after two failed attempts to meet earlier deadlines to complete the line, which runs from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture. The June 2016 sinkhole on Rideau Street has been cited as the main reason why the LRT system couldn’t be finished on time. Tunneling in wet, sandy soil led to a collapse that ruptured a water main and flooded the Rideau Street station. It took 3,000 cubic metres of concrete to fill the hole and stabilize the tunnel enough that construction could resume.
While the new timeline isn’t much more specific than earlier estimates that it would be finished in the first quarter of 2019, a firm date is still a key announcement. It means that if the company fails to finish the work, the City of Ottawa can withhold another $1 million payment from the consortium as a penalty. To date, the delays have cost taxpayers approximately $25 million, which the city hopes to recoup from Rideau Transit Group.