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May 11, 2011

Ottawa may speed up light rail transit construction plans

The City of Ottawa has published a staff report recommending the completion of a light rail system by the spring of 2018, a year earlier than originally scheduled.

The report, Ottawa's Light Rail Transit (OLRT) Project Schedule Acceleration and Procurement Option Selection, was submitted by Nancy Schepers, deputy city manager for infrastructure services and community sustainability/services to the city's finance and economic development committee.

It recommends that the city direct staff to accelerate the implementation of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project and contract the design and construction using a design-build-maintain model.

The RFP has not been issued yet.

Although the original completion data was planned for 2019, the new report recommends that the request for proposals give considerable weight to project scheduling and provide for nearly all downtown construction to be completed by the summer of July 2017, with stations and trains open for public viewing, in time for the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Under the new proposal, the light rail would be operational by 2018.

The light rail project would be about 12.5 km long, between Tunney's Pasture and Blair Stations, primarily on the existing Transitway corridor. There will be 13 stations, four of which would be underground downtown in twin tunnels 3.2 km in length.

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