LRT tunnel finally makes connection, mayor announces
Excavation on track for completion by end of February, city says
The massive machines boring Ottawa's 2.5-kilometre light rail tunnel have finally met in the middle, the mayor announced Thursday.
Jim Watson gave the update at the National Capital Commission board meeting Thursday morning.
"There is still obviously a lot of work to do in terms of fitting up the stations. But it was great news when ... the two sides came together and opened up," said Watson, a non-voting member of the board.
Let there be light! We’ve connected both ends of the LRT tunnel under Rideau St. / Nous avons rejoint les 2 bouts du tunnel sous Rideau. <a href="https://t.co/1vNcmCOFiM">pic.twitter.com/1vNcmCOFiM</a>—@JimWatsonOttawa
The first tunnel connection — a small "punch-through" — actually occurred Dec. 28, according to Steve Cripps, the city's director of O-Train construction.
"The picture tweeted by the Mayor shows the opening as it was completed this week. Complete tunnel excavation is on track for the end of February 2017," Cripps said.
Excavation delayed by sinkhole
The excavation was delayed for weeks after a sinkhole formed on Rideau Street last June. It swallowed three lanes of the road and caused millions of dollars of damage.
- Rideau Street sinkhole collapse not city's fault, says chief solicitor
- More than two dozen businesses want the city to pay for losses due to sinkhole
Despite the setback, the city said last month it still expects the entire $2.1-billion project to be finished on time.
Meanwhile engineers started testing the first of Ottawa's light rail vehicles on a section of track between Blair and Cyrville stations in December.
The Confederation Line is expected to be up and running in 2018.