The first Open House on this project is scheduled on October 30, 2019.
In June 2017, the City of Ottawa Transportation Committee and City Council received the Barrhaven and Merivale Road Rail Grade Separation Study which examined the feasibility of grade-separating of four roadways and the Southwest Transitway where they currently have at-grade crossings with the VIA Rail line. The study was undertaken following a recommendation from the Transportation Safety Board in its 2015 report on the VIA Rail and OC Transpo train and bus collision that occurred in 2013.
On 27 June 2018, City Council approved a motion directing staff to undertake the Environmental Assessment Study for conversion of Southwest Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor to Light Rail Transit (LRT) facility to serve Barrhaven such that the interim results can be part of the upcoming Transportation Master Plan (TMP) review and assessed for consideration with respect to the City's next phase of Transit investments.
Subsequently, the City of Ottawa has initiated the Barrhaven Light Rail Transit (Baseline Station to Barrhaven Town Centre) and Rail Grade-Separations Planning and Environmental Assessment (EA) Study. The EA study will develop a Recommended Plan for extension of Light Rail Transit (LRT) facility from Baseline Station to Barrhaven Town Centre in the Market Place area, as well as the grade-separations of Woodroffe Avenue, Southwest Transitway and Fallowfield Road where these corridors cross the VIA Rail line. The project is approximately 10 km in length.
The City’s current Transportation Master Plan (TMP 2013) identifies a number of modifications to road and transit infrastructure priorities to accommodate future travel demand on the City’s transportation infrastructure. It includes extension of LRT facility to Barrhaven area as part of the Ultimate Rapid Transit and Transit Priority Network.
The study area for this EA is illustrated in the key map.
The EA study will focus on the corridor that has previously been approved through the 1997 Southwest Transitway EA study (Baseline Station to Strandherd Drive) and the Southwest Transitway Extension EA study (Strandherd Drive to Cambrian Road) completed for a BRT facility. It will also include examining options for implementation staging, rapid transit supportive facilities including maintenance and storage facilities, Park and Ride and pedestrian and cycling facilities along the corridor while respecting the Long Range Affordable Transit Plan.
Completion of the LRT EA study will bring the Barrhaven area to the same level as other areas outside the Greenbelt with regards to LRT planning.
Completion of the EA Study will:
- Set the project up for the next phase (design and construction)
- Determine the project cost that will help in City’s Long Range Financial forecasts and securing funds for its implementation
- Be a step forward towards extension of LRT to Barrhaven area as well as implementation of TMP’s Ultimate LRT network
- Establish and protect the right-of-way requirements for the LRT facility including if required an MSF and park and ride facility
- Allow the City to acquire land for the project as opportunities become available
The study is being conducted in accordance with the Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) Ontario Regulation 231/08 made under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. The objective of the EA will be to recommend a cost effective, context-sensitive, functional design that accommodates all users; is compatible with surrounding land uses; and minimizes impacts on the surrounding environmental (social, natural/physical, and economic) conditions.
The EA process requires a comprehensive consultation program involving many stakeholders, including Indigenous people, regulatory agencies, conservation authorities, local community associations, property and business owners, special advisory and interest groups and members of the public. Hence, there will be ongoing public consultation activities during the course of the Study. As part of the Study process, an Environmental Project Report (EPR) will be prepared to document the planning and design process, and to present the Recommended Plan. The EPR will be available for review by the public and review agencies for a period of 30 calendar days.
The study is expected to be completed in Q4 of 2020.
For further information on this project, please contact:
Jabbar Siddique, P. Eng.
Senior Project Manager
Transportation Services Department
City of Ottawa
613-580-2424 ext. 13914