City qualifies construction consortiums to bid on Ottawa’s light-rail expansion

Rail lines around Lees station, part of the first phase of the Confederation Line light-rail project.

Several of the world’s largest engineering and contracting companies are vying to build the $2.5-billion extension of Ottawa’s east-west Confederation light-rail line, according to the city.

In a report distributed Thursday evening, city staff said they’ve prequalified three consortiums to submit a formal proposal to build the additional lines that will extend rail to Moodie Drive in the west and Orleans in the east.

They are:

  1. The Confederation Transit Group, comprised of Ferrovial, Colas and Tomlinson;
  2. East West Connectors, comprised of Kiewit and Vinci; and
  3. Confederation Line 2 Partners, comprised of Bechtel, Aecon, Pomerleau and EBC.

Notably absent from the list are any of the partners from the Rideau Transit Group, led by EllisDon, SNC-Lavalin and ACS Infrastructure, which is currently constructing the $2.1-billion first phase of the line from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Road via a downtown tunnel.

Earlier this year, the city said it asked RTG not to submit a bid out of fear that its incumbent advantage would discourage other firms from participating in the procurement process.

That lack of competition would be bad for taxpayers, city staff were quoted as saying, because the RTG would effectively be able to dictate its price to the city.

RTG will, however, be allowed to bid on a separate contract to extend the north-south Trillium light-rail line to Riverside South and add linkages to the airport.


The city says it expects to release the list of pre-qualified consortiums for the Trillium Line, as well as publish the full request for proposals, next month.

Contracts for both the Confederation and Trillium lines are scheduled to be awarded by mid-2018, with the bulk of construction work beginning in the spring of 2019.