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Ottawa to expand light-rail system

Canadian federal, provincial and local governments recently signed a memorandum of understanding that obliges each signee to provide funds for Ottawa Light Rail Transit’s north-south corridor project.

The corridor will run from Rideau Centre, through downtown Ottawa, to South Nepean, Ontario. The project includes the Strandherd-Armstrong train/car bridge, which will connect communities on the east and west sides of the Rideau River.

The memorandum outlines each partner’s financial commitment, project policies and a construction schedule. The Canadian and Ontario governments each will provide $200 million for the $700 million project; the city of Ottawa will fund the balance.

"By working now to bring light rail into new and growing communities, we can shape new travel patterns for residents and support our long-term objectives of achieving 30 percent transit use by 2021," said Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli in a prepared statement.

Before beginning construction, Ottawa officials must complete environmental assessments and a ridership study. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2006 and be complete in fall 2009.

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More News from 5/10/2005