Metrolinx has spent or committed $137 million on the Hamilton LRT, with $105 million spent and $45 million spent on property acquisitions.
By Ryan McGreal
Published September 12, 2018
Metrolinx, the Provincial rapid transit agency overseeing Hamilton's light rail transit (LRT) project, has released updated numbers on money spent and committed to the project to date.
According to an email response from Jessica Scott, Community Relations and Issues Specialist at Metrolinx, the agency has spent or committed $137 million between 2007 (yes, this project has been under development for 11 years now) and the end of July.
That total includes $105 million already spent on the project, plus another $32 million in committed funds for engineering and design work, procurement tendering, project oversight, leased space and other associated costs.
Of the $105 million already spent, $45 million is for property acquisitions along the LRT route that are necessary to build the line and stations. The rest has been for the original Environmental Assessment completed in 2011, the Environmental Project Report Addendum completed in 2017, and staff costs for this project over the past decade.
The property acquisitions were put on hold in late August as part of a temporary freeze in discretionary spending imposed by the Ontario Government, but other work has been ongoing.
If the LRT project were to be cancelled, as some local candidates in the municipal election have proposed, the $60 million already spent on non-property acquisitions would be lost and unrecoverable. In addition, most of the $32 million in committed money would still have to be paid to fulfil contracts.
During the Mayoral debate on Cable 14, incumbent Mayoral candidate Fred Eisenberger claimed the Province has spend $120 million on property acquisitions.
In an email response to RTH, Eisenberger stated, "In the heat of the moment I am told I said $120 million spent on properties. That is incorrect and I intended to say $120 million spent or committed to this project. That is what was in my mind but it did not come out that way."
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