1 more day to find out when city gets keys to LRT

The consortium behind Ottawa's new LRT system has rung in the new year by applying for an extension to determine when the keys to the Confederation Line will be handed to the city.

City of Ottawa was supposed to learn Wednesday when the Confederation Line would be finished

The consortium building Ottawa's new light-rail system have applied for a one-day extension to let the city know when it'll get the keys. (Mathieu Fleury/Twitter)

The consortium behind Ottawa's new LRT system has rung in the new year by applying for an extension to determine when the keys to the Confederation Line will be handed to the city.

The Rideau Transit Group (RTG) was supposed to tell the city today — Jan. 2 — when it's expected to hand over the new $2.1-billion light rail line.

Instead, RTG asked the city for a one-day extension.

RTG was originally supposed to deliver the LRT system to the city last May, but in February the city announced the date would be pushed back six months to Nov. 2.

That deadline was missed as well.

Right now the city — and evidently the contractor — don't know when passengers will be able to board the Confederation Line, which runs from Blair Station to Tunney's Pasture. The latest estimate is sometime in the first quarter of 2019.

Delays in completing Ottawa's light-rail system have cost $25 million so far, according to city estimates.

Keeping buses on the road longer than planned, extending bus detours and keeping the O-Train construction office going have cost taxpayers millions. The city hopes to recoup some of those costs from the companies building the line, and has also saved some money by deferring maintenance costs and debt payments to RTG.

Already it's withheld $1 million from the consortium as a penalty for missing the November deadline.

If RTG misses the next deadline — which has not yet been set — it will be penalized another $1 million.