City sub­mits up­dated LRT study to prov­ince

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MATTHEW VAN DONGEN mvan­don­gen@thes­ 905-526-3241 | @Mat­tatthes­pec

The city has sub­mit­ted the en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment for a newly length­ened LRT route for pro­vin­cial ap­proval, kick-start­ing a 30day win­dow for pub­lic com­ment.

Af­ter months of fraught de­bate, coun­cil voted in April to ex­tend a planned light rail tran­sit line along the Main-King cor­ri­dor by three kilo­me­tres to Eastgate Square.

Since then, project lead Metrolinx and the city have up­dated the de­sign doc­u­ments for the project to re­flect the ex­tra three stops in the east end, and elim­i­nated the ear­lier pro­posed tran­sit ter­mi­nal at the Queen­ston traf­fic cir­cle.

The up­dated EA was sub­mit­ted to the Min­istry of the En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Fri­day, said city project point per­son Paul Johnson.

Johnson said the amended route was “rel­a­tively sim­ple” to put to­gether given the ex­tended route is based on the city’s orig­i­nal pro­posed LRT de­sign stud­ied in 2011.

“There won’t be many changes com­pared to what peo­ple would have seen in the orig­i­nal study,” he said.

The EA doc­u­ment won’t in­clude in­for­ma­tion about the big ques­tion sur­round­ing the ex­tended route: whether the bridge over the Red Hill Val­ley Park­way needs to be re­placed — a po­ten­tial bud­get-buster for the $1-bil­lion project.

Johnson said en­gi­neers are still ex­am­in­ing the bridge, but added “our work­ing as­sump­tion right now is that full re­place­ment will not be re­quired.”

The pub­lic will be able to view the doc­u­ment on­line by Mon­day morn­ing as well as at City Hall and some li­brary branches. The min­istry will re­ceive com­ments from the pub­lic on the project un­til June 28.

Af­ter that, the en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter has 35 days to give the project a green light or ask for more study work on the LRT de­sign.

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