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Stage 2 Trillium Line South Extension construction taking off at the Ottawa International Airport

Stage 2 Trillium Line South Extension construction taking off at the Ottawa International Airport

A key feature of the Stage 2 Trillium Line South Extension Project is a new four-kilometre Airport Link that will connect the O-Train network to the Ottawa International Airport. This key city amenity will provide an easy and affordable public transportation option for Ottawa’s residents, businesses, and visitors travelling to and from the airport.

This image is an artistic representation of the Airport Station design. The final product may not be exactly as shown.
This image is an artistic representation of the Airport Station design. The final product may not be exactly as shown.

The Airport Link will be a dedicated grade-separated rail link that will travel between the Airport terminal and the future South Keys LRT Station, with a station at Uplands Drive. OC Tranpo’s Alstom Lint vehicles will provide service every twelve minutes, matching the same hours of operation and level of service as the Line 2 mainline.

Constructing a four-kilometre rail link that spans above three roads and includes a 400-metre elevated guideway before ending in an international airport is an impressive feat. The complexity of this work requires significant coordination between the City of Ottawa, TransitNEXT, Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority, and Air Traffic Control.

TransitNEXT has recruited experienced personnel to the project who have overseen elevated guideway work on Vancouver’s Canada, Evergreen and Millennium Lines, as well as Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown. Alongside a local crew which will grow as work progresses, the team has already begun the foundation for the elevated guideway that will see 17 columns constructed, some of which will reach a maximum height of 12 metres. These columns will be capped and will eventually support the pre-fabricated concrete girders/beams that will be placed on top.

Building the elevated guideway within an active airport requires careful planning and coordination. Some of the upcoming work involves the management of relatively heavy loads as they are hoisted into elevated positions amidst congested and limited areas. These pre-fabricated concrete girders, the longest of which will be 40 metres, will arrive later this summer and will be put into place by a 300 tonne crane.

All this work has been planned and coordinated using the latest design technology. Designers, 3D modellers and constructors work together to create a step-by-step simulation of the construction sequencing of the elevated guideway to identify early obstacles and challenges before work begins. Getting the construction sequencing right in a virtual space is critical. This technology has been invaluable for coordinating construction in a fixed footprint and directly next to the airport’s future expansion of the terminal building. Check out the video below to see the Airport elevated guideway construction process for yourself.

Airport Elevated Guideway by the numbers:

  • 17 columns topped with 17 pier caps at a maximum height of over 12 metres at the Airport Elevated Platform
  • Girders/beams precast in concrete segments up to 40 metres long that will be hoisted on to the pier caps using a 300 tonne-crane and integrated together by concrete diaphragms