Transit Woes and Goes

[ 0 ] March 7, 2015 |

lrt diggingFriday is always a fun day… Imagine if you will, Wynne wagging her finger at the TTC for the cost overruns and for not building the Spadina subway extension as a private-public partnership. The fact that Wynne actually thinks she has the moral authority to chide anyone over budgetary matters… oh please.

I guess though that the Ontario Liberals aren’t the only ones who have perfected the art of bleeding money out the back door, for their projects.

Mayor John Tory is not happy over the fact that a 8.6-kilometre, six-stop subway extension from Downsview Station to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre was originally expected to cost $1.5 billion before ballooning to $2.5 billion and, now, is at least as much as $2.9 billion.

Ouch.

Ottawa’s Jim Watson will no doubt be dancing though, well actually he won’t because he has a broken pelvis, but if he could be dancing right now, he would.  He’s now got a tentative deal with the National Capital Commission (NCC) to extend Ottawa’s own light rail transit line along the Ottawa River Parkway. Well actually underneath it.

Ottawa’s Phase One has already got part of it going underground in the heart of downtown, but now Phase Two will also extend another underground extension.  Phase One isn’t finished yet, with a price tag of 2 billion, give or take.  They hit some snags like getting too close to a building or two, and rattled some of the underground sewer-rats in the process, but we’re being told at present, it’s still on schedule.  Full steam ahead for Mayor Watson’s legacy train.

“We’re confident we can build it within that $980-million affordability envelope that had been set as part of the Transportation Master Plan,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick.

And so they anticipate the cost will be under 1 billion for this next portion.  Considering how many bridges in Ottawa have been complete calamities, complete with cost overruns, in excess of year long delays, bankrupt construction companies and sinking footings, I’m going to make a bet that this next extension will cost upwards of 2 billion dollars.

I’m also going to say two words – “water table” – and mark my words, this tunnel will not only be bleeding exponential costs, this thing will leak like straw roof in a hurricane.

Oh well, let Mayor Watson imagine himself dancing, for now.  He’s probably still got a few pain meds left and we shouldn’t kick a man when he’s down.

In the meantime, can anyone come up with more catchy nicknames for the bloated 2.9 billion dollar Downsview extension in Toronto?  Or the soon to be Soggy Bottom Ottawa River Parkway Link?

Happy weekend!

 

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