Confederation LRT has reached 'substantial completion,' city says

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced that city testing on the new LRT line will begin this week.

12-day simulation do-or-die time for delayed Confederation Line

The City of Ottawa and the independent certifier have agreed that Rideau Transit Group (RTG) has reached 'substantial completion' in Confederation Line LRT construction and testing. (City of Ottawa)

The City of Ottawa says it agrees the Confederation Line is substantially finished, a milestone that triggers a period of intensive testing and a pay out of almost $60 million. 

Rideau Transit Group (RTG) filed its notice of "substantial completion" on Monday for review by the city and an independent certifier. On Saturday afternoon, Mayor Jim Watson tweeted that they agreed with the consortium's assessment.

The testing will start Monday.

The decision had originally been expected for Friday.

Watson's office said the mayor was not available for an interview Saturday.

Milestone met

A memo from city staff said the city and the independent certifier agree that the substantial completion milestone has been met.

That triggers a pay out from the city to RTG of $59.4 million.

The memo said the construction and testing for the Confederation Line are complete and the system should effectively be ready for public use. 

The team conducting the trial run will consist of representatives from RTG, RTG's maintenance wing (RTM) and the city. The independent certifier will also take part in the testing stage.

Trains will be running more or less as they would when they're in service during this period. However, people shouldn't expect to see the trains constantly running, according to the city, because many systems will be tested.

May require start-over

If there is a major problem, the 12-day trial period must start again.

That means while it's feasible the trial could be completed as early as about Aug. 7, that will only happen if it all goes flawlessly. The trial run could take significantly longer, threatening to derail Mayor Jim Watson's promise that the handover will take place by Aug. 16.

The city and OC Transpo will do another four weeks of preparation, meaning the earliest the first passengers get on the new LRT is mid-September.


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