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Second phase of Ottawa's light-rail plan gets green light from NCC

The second phase for Ottawa’s light rail transit has cleared another hurdle, with the NCC approving of the city’s construction plans on its lands in the west.

The rail crosses NCC land at the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway in Westboro, and south by Lincoln Fields to Baseline Road and beyond.

One of the plan’s major features is to cut a tunnel below the eastbound lanes of the Sir John A. parkway, leaving only a quarter of the 1.2-kilometre stretch of rail above ground on the east side of NCC property.

Having the rail underground means more green space and better access to the waterfront, said Martin Barakengera, the senior land use planner who made the presentation to the NCC board.

NCC CEO Mark Kristmanson declared the work between the NCC and the city a success.

However, Barakengera and NCC board members suggested plans for a exhaust fan plant at the west end of the tunnel will likely be a problem for nearby residents who had already expressed their displeasure with the proposed structure.

The footprint of the building has been reduced by 10 per cent, and other mitigation is suggested through architectural design, whether by the use of natural materials, landscaping and possibly a green roof.

Due to legal requirements, placing the plant anywhere else would cause a cost increase of about $14 million, said Barakengera.

Nonetheless, the NCC gave land use approval in principal, with the organization’s chair, Russell Mills, saying the plan “came out as not a perfect (plan), but a win-win situation for both sides.”

source: Adam Kveton, Ottawa Business Journal, 20 January 2017