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City anticipates construction delays for west end LRT extension

The O-Train construction is on track for the city's east end, but factors such as labour strikes, supply issues and significant schedule pressures could delay west-end LRT construction by at least one year.
2018-03-03 O Train LRT2 MV
File photo.

The City of Ottawa anticipates construction delays of the light rail transit (LRT) extension to the west end, which could set the project at least one year behind schedule. 

According to a memo sent to council on Friday, Aug. 5, Michael Morgan, the director of the rail construction program said while the project in the east end is on track to be handed over by May 2024, potential impacts from labour strikes, supply issues and "significant schedule pressures" could delay the completion of the O-Train in the west-end for stations like Algonquin College and Moodie Stations. 

Meanwhile, Morgan noted the Trillium Line is on track for a summer 2023 completion and that trackwork is progressing between South Keys and Airport stations and between Bowersville and Limebank stations, which includes track ties and rail installation.

He added that construction of all Trillium Line stations continued in the second quarter, which includes platform works, utility work and structural steel installation throughout the alignment.

The Rideau-Transit Maintenance (RTG) group is also providing 38 additional Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicles to ensure that the expanded Stage 2 Confederation Line operates efficiently, the memo said, adding that eight Stage 2 vehicles are currently in use as part of the operating fleet.

As for funding, Morgan stated that the $99.2 million of the $115 million Stage 1 Confederation Line contingency fund has already been spent.

He added that the original $150 million contingency funds for Stage 2 was increased by $25 million due to “unforeseen costs and improvement to the project", which was approved by council in July. The total amount allocated for Stage 2 is $4.6 billion.

Theresa Kavanagh, city councillor for Bay ward, told The Sam Laprade Show on Monday, Aug. 8 that news regarding construction delays isn't a total surprise. 

"We were already told that there was going to be a three month delay," she said. "That was already known."

Coun. Kavanagh added that residents in her ward are eager to see the end of multiple years of LRT construction in their neighbourhoods. 

"It's difficult when it's years and years on end," she said. "When they hear there's a delay, it's kind of hard to take."

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told The Sam Laprade Show on Aug. 10 that he's not surprised with the delay in the west end extension, because he was previously briefed on the possibility of a delay.

"Virtually every single major infrastructure program has been dealt a blow," he said. "Whether it's through COVID, employees off work or supply chain issues."

The biggest thing, Watson added, is getting it done right, especially the way Stage 1 has gone. Watson is encouraged that he is seeing progress. 

"I live just a stone's throw from the western station, they are working, in some cases seven days a week to make that delay less."

Listen to the full interview with Coun. Kavanagh below: 

 

 

 

 

 

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