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Councillor making case for LRT extension in west end

The city can get to work on funding and preliminary designs for the project, now that an environmental assessment is done.
2018-03-03 Light rail construction LRT1 MV
The construction site for one of the many light rail transit stops to come in Ottawa, March 3, 2018. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

Kanata-North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson would like to see the city start to put money away for a future light rail transit expansion through her ward, Kanata South and part of Stittsville.

The city included an area, which stretches from Moodie Drive through Kanata, in a recent environmental assessment.

Wilkinson told The Rick Gibbons Show on 1310 NEWS, phase one of the extension would likely run to Terry Fox Drive and could cost about $900-million. The city will need to fund a third of that.

The overall project is estimated at $1.85-billion, but the councillor believes it's crucial to get LRT out to Kanata, because nowadays the traffic on the Queensway is backed up before it even gets to the suburb. 

"Employment in the business park has been growing by leaps and bounds, and it's a really important part of the economy of Ottawa -- all those jobs that we have here." Wilkinson said the train would be full in both directions, "We would like to get more of the people coming to work here to use transit because the cars are getting completely blocked up now [on Hwy 417]."

She added that the Kanata North Business Park is producing a lot of tax revenue, and she would like to see some of that money used to service the area.

Wilkinson said the west and south ends are the fastest growing areas of the city and thinks the municipality has to start thinking about how it can handle the traffic and the movement of people in those communities. 

"We can't build [the LRT extension] until it comes out to Moodie Drive anyway, but if we can work on [this project] over the next two or three years, and have the funding in place so when that happens, we are all set to go in the next phase," she said.

The next key, according to the Kanata-North representative, is funding preliminary designs so that the city has an idea of where to put the tracks when the funding comes in. That, as well as keeping their collective fingers crossed that a provincial plan, which currently allows for transit funding over the next decade, still exists beyond June's Ontario election.

Listen to the full conversation with Kanata-North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson:




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Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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