Five things to know about Ottawa’s LRT line as construction enters final year

City staff gave councillors a quarterly update on Ottawa’s light-rail line late last week, shedding new light on the massive construction project. Here’s what we learned:

LRT tunnel
LRT tunnel

Construction deadline 

The contract between the City of Ottawa and the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) established May 24, 2018 as the date the city officially takes ownership of the O-Train Confederation Line. This is known as the “Revenue Service Availability” date. RTG still believes it will meet this deadline. If it does not, it will lose out on some monthly service payments, outlined in the agreement.

Opening date unknown

The Revenue Service Availability date is not the same as the date the LRT will be open to the public. Once the city takes ownership of the line, it will begin conducting a series of tests and safety inspections of all operational elements before it opens to the public, including checking trackwork, vehicles, communications systems, tunnel ventilation and signals. City staff will not know for sure when the LRT will open to the public until the end of 2017.

Safety issues

The RTG has received approximately 150 recent orders from the Ministry of Labour, including orders to improve lighting, and address problems with site housekeeping and washroom facilities, according to the report. RTG says it has resolved the issues. The Ministry of Labour ordered RTG to stop work at the site of the toppled crane on April 26 for two days, but it has since restarted. The gas main break on Queen Street on May 2 is still under investigation.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

2017 Canada Day Celebrations

The project agreement included a requirement that city streets between the east and west downtown entrances of the Confederation Line be restored to pre-construction configuration before Canada Day 2017. That is not going to happen because of delays connected to the Rideau sinkhole. Surface work will continue well into the summer, but the RTG will cease construction on Rideau Street on Canada Day to try to limit disruptions to the public.

Completed work

Nine vehicles have been fully assembled and are in various stages of testing; 142 of 323 poles for the overhead electrical line have been installed. Excavation work is done for the last section of the tunnel west of Rideau station, the west portal ramp and the entrance to the Parliament East station; excavation work continues on the east portal ramp. Servicing work at Tunney’s Pasture Station is almost done.

This story originally appeared in Metro News.

Get our email newsletters

Get up-to-date news about the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Ottawa and beyond.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.