Pre-construction work began late last week on the Confederation Line in Ottawa, Ontario, with city officials handing over the site of the line's future maintenance and storage facility to the Rideau Transit Group.
The occasion marked a milestone for the project, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said in a prepared statement.
"This site currently is housing aging storage structures but soon will be replaced with a state-of-the-art facility that will host the assembly, maintenance and operations of our new Confederation Line trains," he said.
Described by Watson as the "most important construction effort in our city's history," the Confederation Line is the first phase of Ottawa's planned light-rail system. The maintenance and storage facility is expected to be completed by 2015. Operational testing of the line will begin in 2017, which full service slated for spring 2018.
The Canadian government is contributing $600 million (in Canadian dollars) through the Building Canada Fund to build the line, while the government of Ottawa is contributing up to $600 million and the city is allocating up to $161.5 million. The city also will provide $287 million in provincial gas tax funding. The remaining funds will come from development charge revenue and transit reserves.
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