The Plan

How will it happen?

Building a $2.13 billion transit system, with a 2.5-km tunnel beneath the downtown core, is no small task. Making sure that Ottawa keeps moving during construction and minimizing disruption to residents and businesses has been a critical element in the planning of the Confederation Line and the selection of the Rideau Transit Group as its project team.

How will Ottawa keep moving?

Even with optimal construction staging, the Confederation Line is too big of a project not to have an impact on how we commute. How are the City of Ottawa and RTG working to limit these impacts?


Renewing Roads

Completing over $300 million in integrated roadworks in advance of the most intense LRT construction period will minimize non-LRT-related detours.

Supporting Smart Commuting

Continuing Bus Rapid Transit

 The Highway 417 widening project was designed to allow buses to use a bus-only lane on the highway while the eastern Transitway is close to be converted to light rail. Scott/Albert streets were also widened to divert the buses off the western Transitway so track and station work could commence there as well.

Building Cycling Networks

Building Cycling Networks

A four-year, $27 million investment to improve cycling infrastructure is the largest ever made by the City. The investment supports cycling as a viable seasonal commuting option.

Informing Ottawa

Informing Ottawa

Providing residents and businesses with up-to-date information on all construction, road closures, and alternative routes for getting around Ottawa is a key part of the City’s plan. Click here to find out more »


Supporting Smart Commuting

The City is committed to helping residents make smart commuting choices and encouraging businesses to embrace more flexible work arrangements to shift commuting time off peak hours.

Maintaining Access

Maintaining Access

We are committed to maintaining access for pedestrians and cyclists across all Transitway station pedestrian bridges, and to provide a pedestrian/cycling link between Lees and uOttawa Stations.

about the tunnel?

The largest single undertaking of the Confederation Line project, construction of the downtown tunnel has been carefully planned to minimize disruption to residents and businesses wherever possible.

Mining Approach

Mining Approach

A sequential mining approach means that only three main access points are required (the east tunnel entrance near Laurier Street and Nicholas Street, the west tunnel near Albert Street and Bronson Avenue, and a central shaft near the intersection of Kent Street and Queen Street) minimizing road closures.

No Tunnel Boring

No Tunnel Boring

Smaller, quieter road tunnel headers will dig the tunnel, rather than a large boring machine, limiting noise and vibration for surrounding buildings. Noise and vibration levels must be mitigated and have been guaranteed from the project team.


Out of Sight.

Strategic mobilization of crew and equipment will limit surface-level construction, focusing efforts 16 to 24 metres underground.

How will the project stay on time and budget?

The Confederation Line combines the benefits of alternative financing and procurement (AFP) and design, build, finance, maintain (DBFM) models to limit financial risks to the City of Ottawa and ensure the on-time construction of a quality project.

An innovative approach to financing and procuring major public infrastructure projects, AFP:

  • Combines funding from multiple levels of government to spread cost
  • Transfers financial risks to private sector partners as condition of contract
  • Encourages innovation, rigor and accountability for all partners

The DBFM model means Rideau Transit Group provides a fixed cost not only for the initial build, but also for 30 years of maintenance. This model results in:

  • Five years of construction with financial incentives tied to on-time completion.
  • A quality build – since the constructor will also be tasked to maintain the system.
  • Strong motivation for quality maintenance of the system over the long-term

The Rideau Transit Group also has a strong record of completing major infrastructure projects on time and on budget.

Take a tour of the Confederation Line

For an overview of the who, what, where, when, why and how of Confederation Line, watch this brief video from the Rideau Transit Group.

Download transcript

You’ve learned the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW of the Confederation Line. Visit the home page for construction updates »