Posted May 17, 2022
Hamilton City Council’s Light Rail Transit Committee will hold its first meeting since 2017 on Monday with staff updates on the project’s progress since the May 2021 announcement of a new 100 percent funding package of 3.4 billion dollars for the B-Line.
Major construction on the 14-kilometre line from Eastgate Square to McMaster University will begin in 2024 following a procurement process. Early works, including utility relocation and the demolition of buildings along the corridor, are underway.
ACORN Hamilton, the Hamilton Community Benefits Network, and Environment Hamilton are holding a joint rally in front of City Hall before the meeting to call on councillors to implement community benefits and affordable housing as part of the project and the City’s public transit agency operates the LRT.
Hamilton LRT Director Abdul Shaikh will update on project progress during the past year.
In their written report, the City’s LRT office states they”ve reached agreements with the Province of Ontario regarding staffing for the project, communications protocol, a real estate protocol, and governance terms of reference.
Negotiations are ongoing to complete: a municipal funding agreement, commissioning and acceptance protocol, fare and non-fare revenue matters, permits licenses and approvals, and the dispute resolution protocol.
City staff state they expect to complete these agreements in the first quarter of 2023.
Director Shaikh writes that Metrolinx has demolished 30 buildings on the corridor thus far.
Staff are working on an affordable housing and community benefits plan to present to Metrolinx and City Council.
Cycling infrastructure may be added along Main Street West between Longwood Road and McMaster University to fill “a gap in the cycling network.”
The 2017 LRT design proposed three eastbound lanes for vehicle traffic. “The fact that the design includes a third lane in the eastbound direction may present an opportunity to allocate space for cycling infrastructure,” writes Shaikh.
The staff design update report was submitted before Council’s vote last week to convert Main Street to two-way traffic and implement pedestrian safety improvements along Main Street and King Street.
The LRT Committee meeting begins at 10:30 am Monday morning, and will be live streamed on the City’s YouTube page.
Article by Joey Coleman for The Public Record