LRT builder again files ‘notice of substantial completion’ with City of Ottawa
Rideau Transit Group (RTG) is trying again, filing formal notice that it’s finished building the Confederation Line — one of the final steps before the city takes over operation of the delayed light rail system.
According to a memo to members of council from John Manconi, the city’s general manager of transportation services, RTG submitted its “substantial completion notice” on Monday.
Doing so “signifies that RTG is of the opinion that the project has advanced to the point where construction and testing is effectively complete,” Manconi wrote.
That applies to all “fixed components,” such as Confederation Line’s 13 stations and the rail itself, as well as the train vehicles, “and means that there is no restriction on the city’s public use of the system,” according to Manconi.
The city now has five days to give its own assessment of the system’s readiness to an independent certifier, who in turn has five days to determine whether RTG has indeed met all the requirements for completion.
Rejected in May
RTG and the city have been down this road before, and it didn’t end well: In May, the consortium filed its notice of substantial completion, but the city decided the system wasn’t ready, and the independent certifier agreed.
At that time, Manconi noted the trains had outstanding issues including doors that jammed and error codes that halted the vehicles, and issued RTG a “corrective action plan” to bring everything up to snuff.
Mayor Jim Watson also summoned the chair of Alstom, the French company building the trains, to explain the delays.
This time, if both the city and the independent certifier agree the system is good to go, that will trigger a 12-day trial run during which the system must operate flawlessly.
Once that’s finished, the city and the independent certifier must give their final approval, kicking off up to four weeks “to conduct final preparations for our launch of the system to our customers,” according to Manconi.
That will include training, drills and other exercises designed to get the Confederation Line ready for opening day.
Earlier this month, Watson said the city would get the keys to the Confederation Line by Aug. 16, and passengers could be riding the rails by mid-September.
That’s still feasible — if the city and the independent certifier OK the completion notice filed Monday, and if the 12-day trial run goes smoothly.
Even if RTG meets this latest delivery target — its sixth — the Confederation Line will be delivered well over a year after it was initially promised.