Ottawa LRT

CFRA News-Talk Radio posted this report on April 22nd about a possible alignment for the leg of the Ottawa starter light rail line west of downtown.
The route dubbed Richmond Underground is the favourite of city officials for the second phase of the light rail transit route that would link Tunney’s pasture to the Baseline Station.

Deputy city manager Nancy Schepers called it an “elegant solution” that would run west from Tunney’s to Dominion station, and follow the former Canadian Pacific Railway line, then continue via a shallow trench parallel to the Sir John A Macdonald Parkway, before eventually running under Richmond Road via a tunnel.

It would cost $900 million (USD $877.4 million). That’s considered a Class D estimate, and the final cost could be as much as 25% higher or lower.

“It is the shortest, it is cost effective investment, and it improves community and network service.”

The city studied more than 15 options, but several of those drew sharp criticisms from neighbourhood groups, including Kitchissippi residents.

This option keeps trains off the Sir John A Macdonald Parkway and doesn’t cut through the Bryon Linear Park (a stretch of land popular with pedestrians and cyclists).

Councillor Katherine Hobbs represents the ward containing the latter and she’s happy with the new option.

“This is an area that been poorly served by rapid transit in the past, they will get that as a result of this.”

Schepers made it clear that light rail along Carling Avenue is not a favourite of the different options.

It’s the most expensive at $2.3 billion, would add up to 13 minutes per ride for passengers, and certain parts of the route, mainly through major intersections, would have to be elevated.

The cheapest option comes via the Sir John A Macdonald Parkway at $630 million. But after repeated refusals by NCC executives, the city acknowledges that it infringes too much upon the green space and water front.

The western section wouldn’t be built for a decade, and a final decision on the preferred route will be made by council in June.

An open house for the public is scheduled for Thursday [April 25th] at city hall starting at 6:30 p.m.

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