The Ottawa City Council approved on Wednesday the start of the Confederation Line, an eight-mile, 13-station light-rail transit project that will serve as the backbone of the city’s new rail and bus rapid transit system.
The council endorsed the selection of the Rideau Transit Group (RTG), a consortium of engineering groups, to build the line at a fixed price of $2.1 billion (in Canadian dollars), Ottawa city officials said in a prepared statement.
The city will enter into a formal agreement with RTG to design, build and maintain the line from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station. Construction is expected to begin in late February with the widening of Highway 417 between Nicholas Street and 417/174 split. Two additional lanes are being added for express bus service while the transit way is closed for conversion to light rail.
The governments of Canada, Ontario and Ottawa are funding the project. The Canadian government will contribute $600 million from the Building Canada Fund, the Ontario government will contribute $600 million in direct grant contributions, and the city will allocate $287 million from its provincial gas tax receipts.
The remaining project funds will come from development charge revenue and transit reserves.
“This project is designed to grow our transit system to meet the city’s long-term demand,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick.
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