Ottawa – Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Royal Galipeau, MP (Ottawa–Orléans) and Mayor Jim Watson toured the Confederation Line light rail transit (LRT) tunnel to witness the progress that has been made since mining began in October 2013.

In the past ten months, the contractor, Rideau Transit Group, has excavated an equivalent of over 50 per cent of the tunnel volume, some 58,000 m3 (the equivalent of over 23 Olympic-sized pools) of the estimated 110,000 m3 total. The majority of the remainder of the tunnelling operation will focus on the excavation of three station caverns.

The roadheaders Jawbreaker and Chewrocka are busy mining out Lyon and Parliament stations, respectively, and Crocodile Rouge should reach Rideau station to begin that mining operation by the end of the year. This project is on track and on budget and tunnel excavation is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016.

“This public transit link will transform how we will move around Ottawa,” said Premier Wynne. “I am committed to promoting public transit and creating jobs across Ontario. This incredible project is proof of what we as a province can achieve.”

“The Confederation Line is an important job-creating project that will make public transit faster, safer and more convenient for commuters in Ottawa,” said MP Galipeau. “It will bring tremendous benefits to our City and the local economy, including thousands of new jobs, and we are pleased to see such great progress on the tunnel portion of the project.”

“Work on the Confederation Line tunnel began only ten months ago,” said Mayor Watson. “Since then we have dug more than 807 metres of tunnel and made progress on the caverns of the first two underground stations. There is a lot more to be done, but these are excellent results and I am grateful to all the work crews and the project management team for their exceptional performance.”

The Confederation Line is a $2.1 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600 million through the Building Canada Fund. The City of Ottawa will also allocate up to $161.5 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project. The Government of Ontario is contributing up to $600 million. In addition, the City of Ottawa will allocate $287 million of Provincial Gas Tax transfers to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

Rideau Transit Group has undertaken this first stage in Ottawa’s future rail network. The 12.5-kilometre electric light rail system replaces existing diesel powered buses, providing rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west. The route includes 13 stations and a 2.5-kilometre tunnel that will alleviate congestion through the downtown core. For more information, visit ottawa.ca.