Council pours more money into $665-million Metro Line but won’t say how much


Taxpayers will be on the hook for additional costs to solve the signalling problem on the $665-million Metro Line LRT, but the city won’t disclose the amount until it’s running on track.

Council unanimously voted on Wednesday — following a private meeting — to approve the undisclosed budget increase for costs associated with an alternative signalling system plan, separate from the current contract with Thales Canada.

“We have to approve the dollars for that alternate signal system in order to be able to start down that road to even design it, should the need arise for us to actually implement it,” Mayor Don Iveson said following the final council meeting before a month-long break. “Rest assured when all the decisions are final, all of the numbers will be made public.”

The funds will also go to increased costs for consultants and city staff time as a result of the challenges, Iveson said.

“We’re going to be working to recover whatever costs we can through the legal mechanisms that are unfolding,” he stressed. “None of the money that council talked about spending today is for the contractor Thales.”

The city started pursing a back-up plan after issuing the notice of default to Thales on May 1.

Council directed city staff to pursue an alternate signalling system and that project is underway, head of infrastructure Adam Laughlin said following the council vote.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure that if Thales is not successful, we have a system in place not to disrupt service to Edmontonians that people see today,” he said.

At the same time, Thales is continuing to try and fix the downtown tunnel signal problems with a new schedule.

The city has accepted their new deadline with projected completion by the end of 2018.

“Essentially what they’ve committed to is contract completion by the end of the year …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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