Hamilton LRT takes another step forward

There’s another major development involving Hamilton’s light rail transit (LRT) project.

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Metrolinx, the province’s transportation agency, has announced an agreement to acquire a 14.5-acre property that will be the future site of the LRT operations, maintenance and storage facility.

The property is on Longwood Road, near the western end of the 14-kilometre rapid transit corridor that will run from McMaster University to Eastgate Square.

Metrolinx spokesman Andrew Hope describes it as the “nerve centre” of the operation where the vehicles will be serviced and stored, and where the operations and maintenance staff will be based.

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Metrolinx has purchased the storage yard property from McMaster Innovation Park, in exchange for a nearby site on Aberdeen Avenue that was once home to Hamilton’s Westinghouse plant.

McMaster Innovation Park CEO Ty Shattuck says the property has long been part of Hamilton’s innovation and engineering ecosystem and “we’re going to now move it to the next generation.”

Shattuck adds that they are huge supporters of LRT, which will give employees “easier access to both downtown and the McMaster University campus.”

The Metrolinx/MIP announcement comes less than a week after the province lifted a freeze on land purchases along Hamilton’s LRT route, and reconfirmed its $1-billion funding commitment.

Hope says “it’s nice to be moving again now” with the next step being to finalize proposals from the three companies that have been shortlisted to bid on the construction contract.

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