PHOTOS: Here’s What’s Happening With the LRT in Mississauga


The Metrolinx Hurontario Light Rail Transit project (more colloquially known as the LRT) is moving forward.

Recently, we learned that part of the LRT in Port Credit will be underground and that a civic plaza will sit above it at ground level.

Alongside that big announcement, we also learned that the highly-anticipated project is moving into the next phase of the procurement process. The City of Mississauga says that a staff proposal for additional design refinements and corridor enhancements that go beyond the initial project vision has also been included in a recent report.

"We are excited to reach this next stage of the Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project," said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. "The design refinements and enhancements staff brought forward are placemaking opportunities that link to key downtown destinations to achieve a civic identity and sense of place. The proposed additional municipal infrastructure is an opportunity to complete work efficiently and good use of our resources. The Hurontario LRT is building and connecting our city and ensuring it remains competitive and offers our residents efficient and modern transit."

The focus on design is important, as residents will likely respond more favourably to stations and stops that are innovative, useful and attractive. Since construction will no doubt create hardships for numerous residents and business owners (you do have to crack eggs to make an omelette), it's important to reward patience with good design.

The city says it's been working with Metrolinx on refining the reference design "to address localized concerns prior to the next phase of the procurement process."

"Before Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario identify a successful bid team, an agreement will need to be in place with the City of Mississauga to address the detailed aspects of project delivery and long-term operations," said Joe Perrotta, Director, City of Mississauga LRT Project Office.  "The additional municipal infrastructure being proposed can be integrated with the overall procurement process.  Separate budget approvals will be required through the 2018 Budget."

The design refinements and proposed corridor enhancements include:

* Review of the Port Credit and Cooksville HuLRT stops to improve integration opportunities to the GO rail network

* Maintaining paid on-street parking in the Downtown Mississauga areas with the HuLRT, where appropriate

* Developing an enhanced corridor design for Duke of York Boulevard in addition to reconfiguring the track design to a centre roadway configuration

* Addressing constraints at the Highway 403 crossing with the proposal for a new separated HuLRT structure

* Maintaining additional on-street MiWay capacity at the City Centre Transit Terminal

* Ensure consideration for a context sensitive design adjacent to the Britannia Church and the Britannia Farm Lands  

Metrolinx identified a Public Realm Amount (PRA) of approximately $10.6 million to be used towards enhancements for the Hurontario corridor, while the city's capital budget also identified up to $25 million in funding for related LRT project enhancements.

According to the city, staff—working through the Metrolinx design process—have identified potential corridor enhancements and upgrades that will, ideally, please the overall community. would benefit the overall project and communities.

The staff report, Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project Update: Metrolinx Project Procurement, includes $1.61 million in additional funding. Final approval of the staff report will be on the July 5 council agenda.

Additional Municipal Infrastructure

The list of additional municipal infrastructure projects include:

* Incorporating municipal storm sewer (new and upgrades)

* Incorporating uninterrupted power supply or backup systems at all or primary signalized intersections

* Including noise walls that are not a requirement of the HuLRT Project but still meet the criteria through existing municipal policy

* Protecting for variable message sign systems within stop platforms to communicate MiWay information

 As for who will build the LRT vehicles, that remains to be seen.

The shortlisted teams set to compete for the contract include Hurontario Light Rail Connection Partners (HLCP), Mobilinx and Trillium Transit Partners. According to Metrolinx, the teams were selected based on the criteria identified in a Request for Qualifications process that began last October and selection criteria included design, construction, maintenance and operational experience, as well as the financial capacity to deliver a project of this size and scope.

The LRT Project procurement process is anticipated to be completed mid-2018 with a contract award to the successful consortium.

Construction is expected to begin later that year and wrap up in 2022.

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