Ottawa’s Confederation Line Tunnel Marks 10 Percent Milestone

Ottawa’s Confederation Line Tunnel Marks 10 Percent Milestone

An image of the sequential excavation method that will be used to dig the Confederation Line transit tunnel under downtown. Credit: Rideau Transit Group.

Mining of the 2.50km tunnel for the Confederation Line Light Rail Transit project is proceeding on time and on budget with 10 percent of the tunnel excavation now complete.

At the West Portal in LeBreton Flats, the machine named Jawbreaker has carved out 228 m of tunnel and is currently digging under Queen Street just west of Bay Street. At the East Portal near uOttawa and Laurier Avenue East, Crocodile Rouge has mined 22 m towards Rideau Street. Mining at the Central Shaft near Queen and Kent streets by the machine called Chewrocka has just begun over the last two weeks with 7 m of the gallery that will lead from the construction shaft to the tunnel excavated to date.

“It is a pleasure to see that this project is proceeding on track,” said Ottawa—Orléans MP Royal Galipeau. “I am confident that this important federal investment of up to $761.5 million dollars for transit will be well spent and deliver great results for Ottawa residents, the business community and our visitors from across Canada and around the world.”

“The Province of Ontario remains committed to developing high-quality and sustainable public transportation systems like Confederation Line,” said Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre. “Infrastructure Ontario has established the sound procurement process that has set the conditions for the successful delivery of Confederation Line.”

“Four years ago, the future and the budget of this project were uncertain. Today, we have reached a major milestone for tunnel construction,” said Mayor Jim Watson, who announced that the City was approaching the 10 percent mark in his annual State of the City Address. “I’m very pleased with the progress that we’ve made to date, less than one year after the final contract was signed.”

The Confederation Line is a $2.1 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600 million through the Building Canada Fund. The City of Ottawa will also allocate up to $161.5 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project. The Government of Ontario is contributing up to $600 million. In addition, the City of Ottawa will allocate $287 million of Provincial Gas Tax receipts to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

This project is the first stage in Ottawa’s future rail network. The 12.5-km electric light rail system replaces existing diesel powered buses, providing rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5-km tunnel that will alleviate congestion through the downtown core. For more information, visit ottawa.ca.

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