On March 6, 2019 Council approved the Contract Award of Ottawa’s Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Projects and Related Matters Report, recommending East-West Connecters (EWC) to design, build and finance the Stage 2 Confederation Line Extensions and TransitNEXT to design, build, finance and maintain the Stage 2 Trillium Line Extension. TransitNEXT will also be responsible for upgrading the existing stations, as well as maintenance for the existing infrastructure and rolling stock up until 2048.
On March 22, 2019, the provincial government reaffirmed their Stage 2 funding commitment of $1,208M at an announcement at the Belfast Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility. Pursuant to Council’s approval of the March 6, 2019 report, the City of Ottawa executed the transfer payment agreements with both the federal and provincial governments in late March, securing a total contribution of $2.366 billion to Ottawa’s Stage 2 LRT Project, the largest joint federal and provincial commitment in the City’s history.
With formal confirmation of the financial contributions of both senior levels of government, the City of Ottawa has reached commercial and financial close with both TransitNEXT and EWC. Commercial and financial close was reached with TransitNEXT on March 29, 2019 and with EWC on April 26, 2019.
Further to financial close with EWC on the Confederation Line, the City has formalized agreements with RTG for their participation in Stage 2 design and construction. The agreements clarify and confirm their role in systems integration, procurement support undertaken to date, participation in the Stage 2 infrastructure design and construction review process, warranty and handover process from EWC, and a final agreement on the start of maintenance for the expanded Confederation Line East in 2024 and Confederation Line West in 2025. As part of final clarification on RTG’s scope as well as costs resulting from the extended Stage 2 procurement process and construction schedule, a net increase of $9M has been negotiated on the original Stage 2 MOU with RTG. This amount does not impact the overall budget.
The Stage 2 Trillium Line Project Agreement will be posted on the accountability and transparency section of ottawa.ca in the coming weeks, with appropriate redactions pursuant to MFIPPA, including certain sections deemed commercially confidential.
Status of Environmental Assessments and Regulatory Approvals
As discussed in the Q4 2018 memo, the City of Ottawa submitted several applications to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) for the construction of the Trillium Line extension project. CTA approval for construction of the extension and for operation of the extended passenger line is required, as the Trillium Line is a federally regulated railroad. The City is pleased to report that the CTA has granted federal regulatory approval on May 3, 2019 to permit the construction of the Trillium Line extension project under Section 98 of the Canada Transportation Act.
Enabling works update
As reported to Council, to prepare for Stage 2 LRT construction, the City undertook enabling works that allow the successful proponent to effectively advance its construction schedule. From February to April, clearing and grubbing operations commenced along the future Trillium Line alignment between South Keys Station and Limebank Station, including the Airport Link. The Rail Construction Program will continue to work with Ward Councillors to advise where work is underway and provide public notification as appropriate.
Early works lookahead
TransitNEXT and EWC have started to mobilize along their respective alignments with investigative geotechnical work. Borehole drilling is taking place at various sites along each alignment, allowing proponents to further advance their designs by collecting soil and water samples. The Rail Construction Program will provide notifications to the public where required. Impacts are anticipated to be minor during these early activities.