February 13, 2019 11:46 pm

Hamilton council seeks LRT clarification, speeds up long-awaited Waterdown bypass

Hamilton's billion-dollar proposed LRT is expected to feature 17 stops across 14 km.

City of Hamilton

Hamilton City Council, in a 14-2 vote, is asking the province to clarify what happens if the cost of building Hamilton’s light rail transit (LRT) system exceeds the $1 billion the province has allocated to build it.

READ MORE: Mayor Eisenberger touts mandate to build Hamilton LRT in inaugural address

Stoney Creek Coun. Brad Clark says the clarification is needed from Ontario’s Minister of Transport in light of last fall’s election of a new provincial government.

Metrolinx, the province’s transportation agency, currently has the construction responsibilities out to tender and is expected to award the contract later this year.

WATCH: Stony Plain Road to remain 2-way street once LRT is built (October 2018)

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The previous provincial government’s view was that cost escalation beyond $1 billion would result in the project’s scope being reduced, but Flamborough Glanbrook Conservative MPP Donna Skelly has taken a different perspective.

READ MORE: Conservative MPP Donna Skelly draws line in the road on LRT commitment

Skelly, during a recent interview on CHML, was adamant that any construction costs beyond $1 billion would be the responsibility of the city.

Hamilton’s east-west LRT line will run 14 kilometres from Eastgate Square to McMaster University, primarily along Main Street and Queenston Road.

READ MORE: Metrolinx pumps the brakes on Hamilton land purchases for LRT

In regards to another high-profile transportation project, Flamborough Coun. Judi Partridge has won a battle on behalf of Waterdown residents.

City Council, in a vote of 13-3, has voted to single-source the design work on the east-west bypass around Dundas Street. The contract will be negotiated with Dillon Consulting, due to the firm’s familiarity with the long-awaited project.

The bypass is slated for completion, from Centre Road to Avonsyde Boulevard, in 2022.

READ MORE: Where are the most dangerous intersections in Hamilton?

Partridge says Waterdown residents have “suffered” long enough as they wait for relief from high traffic volumes.

Ward 8 Coun. John Paul Danko voted against single-sourcing of the contract.

Danko acknowledges that a competitive bid would have slowed the project work by several months, but he also believes it would have saved money for taxpayers.

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