LRT route to Barrhaven changes so homes won't be demolished
Tenants along Woodroffe Avenue had fought original route
Ottawa city council has changed the path of the future light rail line to Barrhaven to avoid tearing down rental homes, but the new plan could also cost up to $50 million more than the initial plan projected.
After council approved the original route in November 2020, staff went back and looked at a different plan to put the elevated tracks in the median of Woodroffe Avenue, in an area they call a 600-metre "pinch point" between Knoxdale and West Hunt Club roads.
That option hadn't been recommended at the time, staff said, in part because of utilities such as a trunk watermain underground there.
But tenants currently living in homes in Manor Village and Cheryl Gardens have fought against the idea of having to move so their homes could be demolished.
Stage 3 of light rail to Kanata and Stittsville and to Barrhaven still has no funding secured from upper levels of government.
Staff say there is a need for those low-rent units given a shortage of housing. They also point out real estate prices have risen quickly, and so too have the costs of the city obtaining those privately owned lands for the train system.
They now propose sending the raised tracks down the median, adding anywhere from $35 million to $50 million to the project's price.
In total, the City of Ottawa estimates it will now cost $3.52 billion in today's dollars for the Barrhaven leg of LRT, from Baseline Station to Barrhaven Town Centre, which is south of Strandherd Drive.