Where Are We Now with Hamilton’s LRT?

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Published September 23, 2019 at 8:47 pm

Hamilton has been talking about Light Rail Transit for years now. It’s happening. So where are we at the moment?

Hamilton has been talking about Light Rail Transit for years now. It’s happening. So where are we at the moment?

At the moment, the project is in the procurement phase, the latest report to council, from May this year, says.

In the spring of 2018, the city put out a request for proposals (RFP) on the project. This was all put on hold in June 2018 after funding became uncertain when the province promised significant belt-tightening and placed a moratorium on the acquisition of property for this project.

Earlier this year, however, the province recommitted to their investment in Hamilton’s LRT project and lifted the moratorium.

So, as it stands, the RFPs are out there and there are currently three pre-qualified teams preparing proposals that detail how they will deliver the project. Bid submissions are expected in Spring 2020 and one will be selected with contract award occurring later in 2020.

It is expected that at that time, the city and its residents will know more in terms of how much this will all cost.

The delay due to the funding uncertainties has slowed the entire process down but it seems the city and Metrolinx are still hopeful the system will be up and running by 2024.

Courtesy City of Hamilton

According to the report, as of the end of March 2019, Metrolinx has spent $151 million and committed another $20 mission towards the project.

There is a lot of work still to be done in terms of purchasing property along the proposed corridors but there’s still a long way to go.

“Although reasonable efforts continue to be made to negotiate voluntary purchases with all affected property owners,” the report reads. “Expropriation will most likely be required in some cases.”

The report goes on to say that dedicated city staff and Metrolinx will be working with affected residents along the corridors to make sure ‘they are supported.’ The report points out that so far, Metrolinx has helped in finding new homes for 43 people.

For businesses bracing for the significant impact that construction of this project is sure to bring, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is hosting an LRT Ready field trip this Wednesday (Sept. 25) to Waterloo.

Businesses can see an LRT system in operation and learn about business preparedness strategies to help mitigate construction impact.

Photo: City of Hamilton

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