Ottawa awards $2.1 billion Confederation Line Dec 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
Rideau Transit Group (RTG) is provisionally awarded the contract to deliver Ottawa's Can$2.1 billion Light Rail Transit Project in the Canadian province of Ontario.
12.5km alignment includes a 2.5km Downtown tunnel

12.5km alignment includes a 2.5km Downtown tunnel

The international consortium, led by ACS Infrastructure Canada with Dragados Canada and Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Constructors as the main construction partners, secures the design-build-finance-maintain (DBFM) contract ahead of competition from two rival international consortia.
RTG agrees to deliver the 13-station 12.5km LRT project - to be known as the Confederation Line - for a fixed price, bears responsibility for all cost overruns related to construction and agrees to a schedule of penalty clauses in the event of late delivery of the project. RTG also assumes all geotechnical risks related to construction of the 2.5km tunnel and three underground stations that are at the heart of the project.
The contract is due to be rubber-stamped at a meeting of Ottawa City Council on December 19.

Contract award is announced (Credit: CBS News)

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told reporters at a press conference announcing the provisional contract award on Wednesday (December 5, 2012): "The LRT Project is on budget with a fixed price and with the winning consortium accepting all of the risk transfer that the City required of it, including the risk of the tunnel construction."
A summary of the technical specifications of the winning bid reported to the council last week (December 4, 2012) identifies the excavation method for the running tunnel and all three stations as SEM. Previously it had been expected that TBM excavation would be the preferred method. Ground conditions are anticipated as mostly hard limestone except for a 120m soft soil section close to the Rideau Canal.
The alignment has gone through a number of changes in the last ten years, and originally ran north-south. The selected route is now east-west and runs from Tunney's Pasture to Blair, with the central Downtown section featuring three underground stations at Downtown West, Downtown East and Rideau. The route broadly mirrors Ottawa's busway, which grinds to a halt at peak hours.
The new Confederation Line is intended for an initial capacity of 10,700 people/hour/direction (pphpd) but is designed to enable expansion to accommodate an ultimate ridership of 24,000 pphpd.
Surface platforms will initially be 90m in length but will be designed so that they can easily be extended should demand dictate. Underground station platforms are designed from the outset to be 120m in length, 30m longer than necessary for the trains that will start the service.
  • Rideau Station

    Rideau Station

  • RTG consortium partners

    RTG consortium partners

Two other international consortia - Ottawa Transit Partners, led by VINCI, and Rideau Transit Partners, led by Bouygues - were selected from an initial list of six to submit detailed designs and proposals, but lost out to the RTG bid.
Funding is from the Canadian Government (Can$600 million), the Provincial Government of Ontario (Can$600 million) and the City of Ottawa Can$480 million in the form of federal and Provincial gas tax receipts. The outstanding project budget funds will come from The City's development charge revenues and transit reserves.
Construction is expected to begin next year (2013), with the project being substantially complete by the end of 2017 and fully operational the year after.
Plan for LRT under downtown Ottawa - TunnelTalk, January 2010
Ottawa announces shortlist for LRT - TunnelTalk, November 2011

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