Light rail heads for final vote

Mark Brownlee
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The track appears to be clear for the City of Ottawa to give its final approval to build a $2.13 billion light-rail line after councillors spent most of Wednesday going over the project’s outline.

Bayview Station

Representatives from Rideau Transit Group, the consortium of companies chosen by city staff as the preferred bidder to win the contract, were at City Hall to field questions on everything from traffic tie-ups during construction to making the system appeal to cyclists.

Ritchard Brisbin, the local architect known for designing the renovation of the Ottawa International Airport and the new Ottawa Convention Centre, took councillors through his vision for the line’s 13 stations.

He hopes to standardize them, which he said will make them easier for passengers to navigate while also reducing costs.

Others, such as the representative from consortium’s construction company, promised to provide plenty of work for local firms.

“It is our job and our goal to ensure that the capable resources that exist in the Nation’s Capital are given top priority and that we maximize the local content in the years going forward,” said Mark Fazio, senior vice-president of EllisDon.

Questions from councillors mostly touched on the fine details of RTG’s proposed design. Councillor David Chernushenko, for example, heard from staff that they’d likely be able to accommodate his request for more bike racks outside the stations.

The mostly positive response the members of the consortium received suggests the project has few remaining hurdles. Councillors are now set to vote on awarding the contract to RTG at another council meeting next Wednesday.

Organizations: Rideau Transit Group, Ottawa International Airport, Ottawa Convention Centre

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