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Ottawa light-rail line recognized for engineering excellence

The Confederation Line, rendering pictured, was the first conversion of a bus rapid transit system into a light-rail system in North America.
Photo – City of Ottawa


The American Council of Engineering Cos. (ACEC) awarded the joint venture responsible for designing the first stage of the Confederation light-rail line in Ottawa, Ontario, for exemplary engineering achievement. 

The joint venture — which consists of STV Inc., AECOM, Morrison Hershfield and McMillen Jacobs Associates — was credited as the first conversion of an exclusive bus rapid transit system into a light-rail system in North America, ACEC said in a press release.

The nearly 8-mile Confederation Line connects 13 stations in Ottawa. The project also consists of a vehicle maintenance and storage facility, zero-emission electric light-rail vehicles and traction power substations. 

Initial ridership forecasts indicate the Confederation Line would serve about 10,700 passengers per hour in each direction during peak travel times. With Ottawa’s population expected to increase at least 30 percent by 2031, it was critical for the system to be developed so that existing infrastructure could meet current demand while remaining responsive and adaptable to the anticipated surge in ridership growth, ACEC officials said.

A panel of environment, government, media and academic leaders served as award judges. Award criteria focused on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

ACEC will present the award at a dinner and gala in September. 

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/27/2020