Originally Posted by Kitchissippi
It's not like running it on surface will be free. You can't simply strike off 600-700 million off the balance sheet because you're eliminating the tunnel. I bet more than $300 million would have to be spent downtown on surface track, stations, signalling, bridge reinforcements and road rebuilding. The tunnel becomes a no-brainer, for $300 million or so more, we get a system that is unimpeded by surface traffic. Someone remind me again what is being spent on Baseline station right now?
But we also save the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to reroute buses off the transitway between bayview and tunney's. That money is a huge waste. I'd rather see that money go into permanent infrastructure (the secondary LRT line) that provides a benefit now, and provides ongoing benefits and redundancy later.
I have absolutely no desire to attempt to build a full-scale high capacity surface LRT downtown. It would be a total waste. But a smaller scale line would be a valuable part of the system for a long time.
Originally Posted by Uhuniau
That's great and all... but then how much of the "savings" get eaten up in redesigning everything else to now run through a non-tunnel, and in designing the rest of the system that constitutes "more surface rail"?
And how much time does that buy before grade separation, whether tunnel, el, aerial tube, or magic happy carpet, is required anyway?
I wouldn't redesign. The tunnel design is fine. It needs to happen in 10-15 years. I'm just talking about juggling the phases so that the tunnel and western BRT conversion happens after the western secondary LRT. All the same things get built, but we avoid paying hundreds of millions to reroute the bus traffic while the BRT is converted to LRT.
Note, there is an assumption built into my suggestion that isn't a sure thing. I'm assuming the LRT route will run along the BRT to Dominion and then hop over to the Byron tramway or alongside Richmond road (hopefully the former). I don't want a Ottawa River Parkway routing. And if the Carling routing is selected then it's a problem because you do build an affordable secondary LRT on Carling and then convert it to primary LRT, which would be disruptive and expensive.
It's crazy that we don't know the route this is supposed to follow. Those decisions could be made at any time, and they affect what they're doing right now.