Construction delays on Ottawa’s light-rail transit extension to the south end of the city have only gotten worse over the course of 2021, with the contractor now expecting a nine-month delay in the handover of the expanded Trillium Line.
City staff disclosed the delays in an update to the finance and economic development committee on Friday.
City council was first notified about possible delays on the Stage 2 LRT north-south extension in January, at the time giving estimates that construction was set back roughly 40 days.
Now, rail construction director Michael Morgan says the line is expected to be ready for handover in mid-May 2023, nine months after the original date of August 2022.
Morgan said that TransitNEXT, the subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin that won the contract to build the Trillium Line extension, is citing COVID-19 as causing major pressures on the construction timeline.
While the east-end expansion appears to be on track for completion in late 2024, progress on extensions to the line in the west out to Moodie Station is facing delays of up to 10 months.
Morgan said “excavation work” on the tunnel running alongside the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway is going slower than expected but the city is meeting with the consortium of East West Connectors early in the new year to see how much time can be made up before late 2025, when the western part of the project is now expected to be complete.
“The team is doing a deep dive into those scheduling issues. In the past, we’ve been able to recover quite a bit of time when we run into these challenges but there are starting to be some pressures stemming from COVID and resources generally in the market,” Morgan said.