City gets more time to figure out future of Prince of Wales Bridge

The city will get more time to respond to an order to reopen the Prince of Wales Bridge to rail traffic.

City had been ordered to either sell the bridge's rail line or ready it to reopen

The City of Ottawa was ordered to repair track leading up to the Prince of Wales Bridge by the Canadian Transportation Agency. (CBC)

The city will get more time to respond to an order to reopen the Prince of Wales Bridge to rail traffic.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ordered the city to take the steps so the bridge could be put into service within 12 months or to go through the formal process of discontinuing the line, which includes putting the bridge up for sale.

The city had until this coming Monday to respond.

There are no city plans for the bridge in the short term, but in the long term it has talked about using the bridge to set up a rail link to Gatineau.

As part of light rail construction, the city removed a section of the line, running north of Bayview Station toward the bridge, and built part of the Bayview station structure over it.

The rail bridge itself has also been closed off.   

Moose Consortium Inc., a group that has had ambitions of offering rail services to outlying communities in Quebec and Ontario filed the initial complaint with the agency.

Deadline now tied to court ruling

After the CTA issued their order, Mayor Jim Watson wrote a letter to Transportation Minister Marc Garneau asking for a review.

The city also filed an appeal of the CTA's order with the Federal Court of Appeal.

So far the court has not yet agreed to hear the city's case, so the CTA has given the city an extension.

In a memo to council, Rick O'Connor, the city's clerk and solicitor said the CTA has agreed to give the city 30 days after the court's decision to respond.

The 30-day deadline will start either after the court declines to hear the case or 30 days after the appeal process is finished if the court does decide to hear it.