Ottawa LRT builders receive $349M contract to help plan expansion

Barred from building the expansion to Ottawa’s east-west light-rail network, the firms currently constructing the Confederation Line say they’ve received a $349-million contract to ensure a smooth transition between the two phases of the massive infrastructure project.

The Rideau Transit Group – led by SNC-Lavalin, EllisDon and ACS Infrastructure – will provide 38 additional light-rail vehicles and provide assistance to the city as it tenders the expansion contract.

The $2.1-billion section of the Confederation Line currently under construction will run from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair station via a tunnel beneath the downtown core. In 2019, work is expected to start on a $2.5-billion addition that will extend the line out to Moodie Drive in the west and Orleans in the east.

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.

The companies 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.

RTG was awarded the $349-million contract as part of a memorandum of understanding that the consortium ratified with the city in March.

“We are proud that the City of Ottawa has extended our scope to ensure the growth of the project and has entrusted us to maintain the Confederation Line's core assets until 2048,” said Chantal Sorel, the managing director of capital for SNC-Lavalin, in a statement.

LRT contractors fined $95K

In a separate LRT development this month, the province said it fined several of the companies involved in the project for improperly dumping material excavated from the tunnel.

The tunneling operation involved cutting rock using machines lubricated by water and producing a watery slurry waste, Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change said in a statement. The slurry is classified as a liquid industrial waste and must be disposed of in accordance with regulatory requirements.

In March 2015, a contractor hauled 13 loads of slurry to a dugout area at a property on Howie Road. in Carp that was not an approved waste disposal site, according to the province.

At the time, the site was leased to Richard Earnest Rump, who had a contract with the haulage company to allow the waste to be dumped at the pit even though it was not an approved waste disposal site.

On June 21, 2017, SNC-Lavalin Constructors (Pacific) Inc., Dragados Canada Inc., and EllisDon Corp. were each convicted of one offence and fined $30,000, plus a victim fine surcharge of $7,500. Mr. Rump was convicted and was fined $5,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $1,250.

The slurry material was cleaned up and properly disposed of in compliance with regulations.