After four missed deadlines and more than six years of work, the consortium building Ottawa’s light-rail transit line received the all-clear that substantial construction on the city’s $2.1-billion LRT project is complete.
Rideau Transit Group submitted its final paperwork for revenue service availability – the point at which nearly all work on the east-west LRT line has wrapped up – to the city on Friday, Ottawa transit boss John Manconi told councillors in a memo Monday. Both city staff and an independent certifier have since given their stamps of approval to RTG, entitling the construction consortium to a final $202-million payment, minus penalties and overrun costs deducted by the city.
Finally achieving the RSA date means RTG has officially handed over the keys to the city – despite already having a symbolic handover ceremony at City Hall on Aug. 23, when Mayor Jim Watson announced LRT service will launch to the public on Sept. 14.
The RTG consortium, which is led by Toronto-based ACS Infrastructure and includes engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, construction company EllisDon and Ottawa’s BBB Architects, has missed four RSA deadlines in the past, blowing past the original May 24, 2018 date and ending up two weeks past the most recent plan for an Aug. 16 handover. Work on the enormous infrastructure project began in 2013 with a projected 2018 completion date, but delays including the Rideau Street sinkhole above the LRT tunnel in 2016 pushed back the timeline.
Any remaining work required from RTG in the next six months will be tracked as minor deficiencies. The consortium will then shift to providing 30 years of maintenance on the LRT system.