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Ottawa holding $59M back from final payment to Confederation Line builders

The city is holding the money due to costs encountered during the delayed opening of the light rail line.
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2019-08-23 John Manconi City of Ottawa MV3
City of Ottawa General Manager of Transportation John Manconi, August 23, 2019. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters.com

The City of Ottawa is holding back $59-million of it's final payment to Rideau Transit Group (RTG), the builder of the 12.5-Kilometre Confederation Line. 

It says this is to cover the cost the city encountered while the system was delayed 456 days.

When RTG officially handed over the $2.1-billion system on August 30, the city owed the consortium $202-million, but a cheque presented on Tuesday was only made out for $143-million.

"$59-million is what we are deducting off their payment, and then through normal project and contract management there is other deduction that get applied through our normal process," said John Manconi, General Manager of Transportation. "We've tracked all our costs to date, the overtime, the premiums. Our mandate was very clear to stay whole in terms of no increased costs to the city."

Back in June, the city released a financial statement, saying it was on the hook for $34.4-million in losses due to bus operations and detours. More money was added because RTG missed its July deadline.

RTG missed four deadlines in total, resulting in a penalty of $1-million for each. Three payments were taken off back in July, while the final penalty was subtracted from the final payment.

The city could be subject of a legal battle with RTG if it doesn't agree to the terms. Manconi brushed off any concern, saying he "doesn't care" what the consortium thinks.

The Confederation Line is set to open to the public on Saturday, September 14.




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