Blais helps hammer in first rail tie for LRT

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Installation signals beginning of Transitway conversion

Cumberland Councillor and Chair of the Transit Commission Stephen Blais helped hammer in the first rail tie for the O-Train Confederation Line signalling the beginning of the Transitway conversion; another important milestone in the Light Rail project.

Light Rail
Stephen is joined by Marie-France Lalonde and Royal Galipeau to hammer in the first LRT rail tie.

“This is a momentous occasion for the whole City,” says Blais. “This is the largest infrastructure project in the history of Ottawa. It will create thousands of jobs, help reduce air pollution, reduce commute times and when Stage 2 is complete it will truly connect our City: east, west and south,” he adds.

The Transitway currently spans 12.5 kilometres between Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west and Blair Station in the east. Most of the O-Train Confederation Line track will be built in the Transitway’s existing footprint. Once completed, the Transitway in this span will only serve the new O-Train and will replace the existing diesel powered buses.

“The government is pleased to see this project progressing well, making public transit faster, safer and more convenient for commuters in Ottawa,” said MP Galipeau. “Investing in a modern and efficient public transportation system will create thousands of new jobs and improve the National Capital Region’s long-term economic growth and prosperity.”

The system has 13 stations, including three new underground stations. A major maintenance and storage facility at Belfast Yard will be the site where vehicles for the line will be assembled.

“Today’s milestone is another sign of momentum towards completing this world-class project on time and on budget,” said Mayor Watson. “The Confederation Line O-Train will mean shorter commute times, cleaner air, and a stronger economy.”

Stage 1 of the O-Train Confederation Line is a $2.1 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600 million through the Building Canada Fund. The City of Ottawa will also allocate up to $161.5 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project. The Government of Ontario is contributing up to $600 million. In addition, the City of Ottawa will allocate $287 million of provincial gas tax transfers to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.