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Ottawa's 3 km LRT tunnel in west-end near completion

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The new O-Train Parkway Tunnel is now 85 per cent complete, as construction continues on the western extension of the Confederation Line from Tunney's Pasture to Moodie Drive.

"There are sections of the tunnel that are complete, sections where it's not complete, so we'll see it in progress, and sections where track work has just started," Jocelyne Daigle, construction manager of the rail construction project, told reporters on Friday.

The city took reporters on a tour of the cut-and-cover tunnel that runs three kilometres between Dominion Station and Lincoln Fields Station. The tunnel will travel underneath the Kichi Zìbì Mìkan and Byron Linear Park.

OC Transpo says work continues on the tunnel, noting construction crews and equipment will be working overnight in the Parkway/Byron Tunnel.

“Cut-and-cover tunnel structures (concrete tunnel floor, walls, and roof) along Kichi Zìbì Mìkan Parkway will be completed this year, along with tunnel backfill operations,” the transit service says on its website.

Construction on the western extension of LRT is delayed at least 17 months and won't be completed until late 2026. The line will run west from Tunney's Pasture to Algonquin College and Bayshore Mall/Moodie Drive.

"Structure work should be done in the Parkway Tunnel by summer of this year. Next step is the track works, which we are starting now. Track works we should be completing in the spring of next year," Daigle said.

"(The) next big milestone for us is the system work; so the OCS works, the catenary works – those should be done by the end of 2025. We are hoping into 2026 to be able to start our train testing."

The work may include excavation, hauling, installation-of-form work, concrete pouring, utility installation, fuelling, equipment maintenance and servicing and site housekeeping. OC Transpo notes that pile drilling, rock breaking and vacuum truck excavation are not permitted at night; however, a noise by-law exemption has been obtained to complete the project.

Night work is expected Monday to Saturday from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Sundays and statutory holidays. Work will occur, as required, through June 2024.

While the construction is expected to be complete this year, the City of Ottawa is looking at seeing riders on the train in 2027. 

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Leah Larocque

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