Stage 2 for Light Rail in Ottawa is estimated to cost $1billion more than originally estimated. At a technical briefing Friday city staff said the cost is now estimated at $4.6 billion from $3.6 billion.

The project, which will see LRT taken west to Moodie, east to Trim Rd., and extend the O-Train Trillium Line to Riverside South, is also delayed by two years to 2025.

The Director of O-Train Planning, Chris Swail, says the original deadline of 2023 was an ‘aggressive target’ set in 2017.

“We were hopeful but we weren’t going to bet the house on it,” Swail said. “Since then we brought on a lot of additional scope - so the extension from Bayshore to Moodie, the Limebank extension that goes from Bowesville Rd. all the way to the west side of Limebank - that came into the program late so we were playing catch up.”

The preferred proponents to lead the projects were also announced Friday. East West Connectors, made up of Kiewit Corporation and Vinci Construction, was selected at the preferred choice to expand the east-west Confederation Line. SNC Lavalin was selected at the preferred choice for the Trillium Line.

The bids from East West Connectors – a factor in the price increase.

“Market pressures have increased pricing over the last couple of years by the tune of almost $600million,” Swail said.

City staff was also asked about the commitment from the provincial government. Right now there is only a verbal agreement and nothing on paper.

“We are confident that this money is going to come through, it’s a great project, and all indications from the new government is that they also believe it’s a great project,” Swail said.

Stage 2 of LRT is expected to add 44 kilometres of track and 24 new stations bringing more than 70 per cent of residents within 5 kilometres of rail.

Swail says shovels are expected to be in the ground this summer.