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Stage 2 - Trillium Line - Construction Updates

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2020 Year-end Review

January 2021

The Stage 2 LRT team has made progress in 2020 building the O-Train East, West and South extensions that will add 44 km of new rail and 24 new stations to the Ottawa’s light-rail network.

O-Train South Extension

Significant progress was made in 2020 for the O-Train South Extension, one of three major extensions to Ottawa’s Stage 2 LRT system. Since the provincial government mandated the continuation of essential transit infrastructure projects during the COVID-19 pandemic, crews have continued to forge ahead with the construction of this complex project, maintaining its priority on safety, collaboration and innovation.

The O-Train South Extension will add 16 kms of new track to the current portion of the O-Train Line 2, which runs from Bayview Station to Greenboro Station. Work includes adding passing tracks at South Keys and double tracks south of Leitrim to Limebank Road. Four kilometres of new track with two elevated guideways will provide a new link to the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. The project is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Construction progress in 2020 by the numbers

  • Approximately 23 active construction work zones are in effect.
  • 6.3 km of original track has been removed and 1.5 km of new track has been laid.
  • 55 caissons have been drilled; only 9 caissons are remaining for completion.
  • 12 new rail bridges are under construction including 2 that have been completed.
  • 5 rail bridge decks have been poured.
  • 81 utilities have been relocated.
  • The first new Stadler FLIRT train carshells have been manufactured.
  • Construction on 4 new stations has commenced.
  • Upgrades on 3 existing stations is ongoing.


Key Milestones: Construction of new & upgraded stations

The existing portion of Line 2 will see two new stations added: Corso Italia and Walkley. The platforms of the current five stations at Bayview, Carling, Mooney’s Bay, Dows Lake and Greenboro will be extended to accommodate longer, larger capacity trains. The new South extension of Line 2 will add four new stations at Leitrim, Bowesville and Limebank as well as at South Keys which will serve as the transfer station to the Airport. The four-kilometre link to the airport will add two new stations at the Airport Terminal and at Uplands, adjacent to the EY Centre. Three new pedestrian bridges will also be built to improve connectivity at Bayview Station, over the Rideau River at Carleton University and at Hunt Club Road. 

Pictured above: Airport elevated guideway progress, November 2020.

Construction of the Walkley Yard MSF – the new home for the trains

The new Walkley Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) is a key feature in the Stage 2 South Extension. Trains will be cleaned, inspected, maintained, stored and operated from the yard. This includes the existing six Alstom Coradia Lint Trains that will be fully refurbished, along with seven new Stadler FLIRT trains.

Construction of the new Walkley Yard is well underway. After only breaking ground last year, the 200-tonne exterior shell is nearly complete and track installation has begun. The new Walkley Yard will be a 4,700 m2 LEED certified facility that will consist of two train maintenance bays, a two track train inspection facility, a train wash facility, 1800m of ballasted track, and 500 metres of interior track within the facility.

Pictured above: Walkley MSF November 2020.

Contributing to our community

The construction of the O-Train South Extension is a critical part of the post-COVID economic recovery for the National Capital Region. Here’s how the construction of the O-Train South Extension is making a difference this year:   

  • The creation of 562 project jobs as of October 2020 with approximately 80% of these workers based in Ottawa, and it is expected to peak at 800 project jobs in 2021
  • TransitNEXT awarded over 342 orders to 152 local suppliers, representing a local spend of over $82 million
  • Building the LRT link to the Airport will help rebuild the tourism industry in the National Capital Region as a gateway to Ontario and Canada
Pictured above: Aerial view of the future Corso Italia Station.

O-Train East Extension

The O-Train East extension will see LRT continue from Blair Road to Trim Road, adding 12.5 kilometres of rail and 5 new stations to the O-Train network at Montreal Road, Jeanne d’Arc, Orleans Boulevard, Place d’Orleans, and Trim Road. The east extension will travel predominantly within the median of OR 174.

One of the critical objectives in 2020 was the relocation of infrastructure including various utilites such as sewers, hydro lines, watermains, natural gas and telecommunications infrastructure in the Highway 174 corridor at Green's Creek, Jeanne d-Arc, Orleans  and Champlain Street to set the stage for the future track and station construction in the median.

Significant ramp modifications occurred at the Jeanne d’Arc Interchange where vehicle access to Highway 174 has been changed. The existing westbound on-ramps were removed and the southbound and northbound lanes of Jeanne d’Arc Boulevard now have signalized right turns. This will help reduce speeds and increase safety for all road users and create greater connectivity for all modes of transportation.

Further to the critical utility relocation work and road preparation work between Trim Road and Jeanne D’Arc, travellers along the 174 will have witnessed significant and intensive construction activity between Blair Station and Montreal Road. In order to connect trains from the existing transit alignment on the north side of the highway into the median itself, a new dedicated rail bridge is being constructed 800m east of the Highway 174 and Blair Road interchange and the existing bus transit bridge, south of Trillium Park. Crews have been hard at work constructing the pier caps that will hold the future Blair Station to 174 median rail bridge. From there, trains will travel east to the final stop at Trim Road where the Stage 2 team has been renovating the existing OC Transpo Park and Ride facility and building a future Highway 174 eastbound, north and south ramp required to make space for the realignment of Trim Road and the construction of the future Trim Station.

Over the course of the year, eastbound 174 lanes had to be shifted south and two new bridges had to be built at the Highway 174 Montreal Road interchange to create enough space to allow work on the guideway and station construction to begin. In November, crews worked over five weeks and weekends to detour traffic from the existing highway bridges to the two new bridges with minimum closure time and impact to the travelling public. This work was critical to enable the demolition of the existing bridges over the course of the first weekend in December and the start of the deep foundation for Montreal Station in 2021.
 Pictured above: New eastbound and westbound lanes on OR 174 at Montreal Road, November 2020.

Highway 174 Montreal Road Bridges Demolition

A tremendous amount of meticulous planning ensured that the demolition of the Montreal Road Bridges was a success. This was a significant project milestone for the Stage 2 team.

For 57 hours, beginning Friday night at 8 p.m., Montreal Road was completely closed beneath Highway 174 to vehicles, including OC Transpo buses, pedestrians, and cyclists. Crews, operating various pieces of large construction equipment fitted with hydraulic hammers, buckets, forks and shears worked around the clock to demolish 1,456 cubic metres of concrete and 160 metric tonnes of steel.

Every detail was considered including the provision of a shuttle service to ensure that pedestrians and cyclists could get to the other side of the bridges along Montreal Road, safely. As planned, Montreal Road was re-opened for traffic and pedestrians by 5 a.m. Monday morning. And, for some time after, concrete and steel debris resulting from the demolition was safely hauled away.
 Pictured above: Montreal Road Bridges Demolition December 2020.

O-Train West Extension

Throughout 2020 nearby residents, pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit users have witnessed a great deal of construction activity in Ottawa’s west-end. Much of this work is related to the O-Train West extension project from Tunney’s Pasture Station to Baseline Road and Moodie Drive. The west extension will add 15 km of rail and 11 new or converted rapid transit stations to the City’s LRT network.

Tunnel Construction

The west extension includes two cut and cover tunnels that will be constructed from the top down: the 3-kilometre Parkway tunnel will travel between Dominion Station and Lincoln Fields Station travelling underneath the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway and Byron Linear Park, and the 270-metre Connaught tunnel that will link Lincoln Fields Station with Queensview Station by travelling underneath Connaught Avenue.

Pictured above: Locations of the future Stage 2 West Extension tunnels.
Before cut and cover tunnel construction can begin traffic needs to be shifted, and underground utilities must be relocated. Of critical importance in 2020, work was completed to shift the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway north between Dominion Avenue and Cleary Avenue to allow for construction to safely occur on the south side.

At Rochester Field, work is underway to install temporary equipment that will produce concrete used to stabilize the excavation and form the tunnel walls. In the fall, an onsite facility was built that will process and dry the excavated material from the tunnel in slurry pits. This dry material can then be hauled away.
Pictured above: Slurry Pits in Rochester Field.

Excavation of the Parkway tunnel is well underway: approximately 30,000 cubic metres or 10% of the total quantity has been excavated, 60% of the pile drilling has been completed and 15,000 metres of piles have been drilled along Byron Avenue.
Pictured above: Support of Excavation work in Byron Linear Park.

At Connaught, Queensview and Pinecrest important utility work has been ongoing and nearing completion in preparation of Support of Excavation work, which will begin this winter.

Lincoln Fields Flyover Bridge

One of the most interesting and unique structures in Connaught Park, and indeed across the entire west extension, is the Lincoln Fields Flyover Bridge. This bridge carries the eastbound and westbound track alignment from Lincoln Fields Station to the Connaught Tunnel. It crosses over the southbound alignment to Baseline Station, the existing transitway, Pinecrest Creek, and a multi use pathway (MUP).

The Lincoln Fields Flyover Bridge is a raised structure, at an approximate height of 8 metres, and a clearance underneath of 5 metres. It is comprised of spans carrying two directions of track with a width of approximately 8.2 metres. This year a total of 5 spans were installed, including 13 girders, 50 tons in total, each 38 metres long.
Pictured above: Lincoln Fields Flyover Bridge August 2020.

Pictured above: Lincoln Fields Flyover Bridge December 2020.

Other notable works completed in the west include: a critical road detour opened to the public at Iris Station that permits multiple phasing of additional activities including the realignment of a culvert under Iris Street to accommodate future construction of the station and LRT guideway; opening of a new bus loop at Baseline Station; and, building a temporary bus station at Lincoln Fields Station.
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