LRT Improvement Updates
This report provides an update on some design improvements on Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit (OLRT) project and seeks approval to advance the bundling of the Highway 417-Widening project with the OLRT project.
The following provides an update on some of the design modifications that have been undertaken to improve the OLRT project. Design refinements will continue throughout the procurement process and a final design will be presented to Council for approval at contract award in December 2012.
Rideau Station Alignment
As directed by Council, work has advanced to meet Council’s objective of minimizing the depth, and expanding the catchment area of Rideau Station. This work included a focused engineering review of the Rideau Station area of the tunnel alignment. This review determined it was feasible to shift Rideau Station’s location from under the Rideau Canal to east of Sussex Drive. This shift grants increased flexibility to Proponents as they continue to optimize station placement, entrances and construction methods to meet the project budget.
Moving the station eastward on Rideau Street will also give access to the ByWard Market, reduce the depth of the station, and increase the station catchment area. It will also provide a better transit solution by balancing the ridership at the station entrances and by providing entrances closer to transit riders’ origins and destinations.
Other Design Updates
This report also provides updates on design improvements at Train and Bayview stations and on the alignment at the West Portal, where the line enters the Escarpment.
Design changes will continue to occur throughout the procurement process as the private sector teams competing to construct the system are responsible for advancing and completing the preliminary or indicative designs previously presented to Council. Council will have ultimate approval of the design prior to contract award in December 2012. This approval will occur after Infrastructure Ontario has led the evaluation of the three submissions, the selection of the Preferred Proponent and the negotiation of a final agreement. Each Proponent team has full flexibility to propose the best design and construction plan/schedule on which they can guarantee delivery and price. This flexibility is the foundation of the Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) delivery model.
Highway 417 Bundling
To eliminate the risk of costly delay, mitigate transit disruption and to maximize innovation, the City has requested that the Province of Ontario consider bundling the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) Highway 417-Widening project together with Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit project. With the support of Infrastructure Ontario, the City proposed undertaking these projects together with a single competition and single responsible private sector team charged with constructing both projects on a common schedule. This would allow the selected Proponent full control of both project schedules and consequently allow the City to hold a single party responsible for performance. The Province supports the proposed bundling approach. This report seeks Council authority for the Deputy City Manager, Planning and Infrastructure to negotiate and enter into an appropriate agreement with the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) on the City’s behalf to bundle the Highway 417-widening project with Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit Project, as described in this report and to direct staff to make appropriate amendments to the OLRT project procurement documents.