Project Director Kris Jacobson says Metrolinx has bought two-thirds of the 90 full properties needed to build the 14 kilometre line from Eastgate Square to McMaster University, along the King-Main corridor.
He expects to demolition of buildings on those properties, many of which are boarded up, to start in the spring of 2020.
Jacobson says negotiations continue in regards to roughly 30 other full properties that are needed. So far, he says, “all purchases have been on a willing seller, willing buyer basis” indicating that the city has not yet resorted to expropriation.
Three consortiums that have been chosen to bid for construction of Hamilton LRT are putting the finishing touches on their proposals.
Jacobson expects the contract will be awarded next fall, after which the successful bidder will need about six months for design work prior to beginning construction. Work on the line should be “starting in 2021, hopefully spring, summer.”
The report, presented during a meeting at city hall on Wednesday, also shows that Metrolinx has spent $162 million on the project, to date, much of that relating to the purchase of properties.
READ MORE: Hamilton LRT takes another step forward
The current provincial government has said it will not pay more than the original $1 billion promised in 2015, but there’s optimism that the federal government would come to the table in the event of cost overruns.
Liberal MP and cabinet minister Catherine McKenna has indicated that her government would consider such a request, following past meetings with Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.