Three consortiums have been short-listed to submit proposals to design and build the first phase of a light rail transit (LRT) project in Ottawa.

The City of Ottawa and Infrastructure Ontario announced recently that a request for proposals would soon be issued to the consortiums.

The consortiums are:

Rideau Transit Group: EllisDon; SNC-Lavalin; ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc.; Dragados Canada Inc.; Veolia Transportation Services Inc.

Ottawa Transit Partners: Aecon Construction Group Inc.; Bombardier Transportation Canada Inc.; VINCI Concessions; ACCIONA Infrastructure Canada Inc.

Rideau Transit Partners: Bouygues Travaux Publics S.A.; Brookfield Financial Corp.; Fiera Axium Infrastructure Canada LP; Parsons Enterprises Inc.; Colas Rail S.A.; Johnson Controls LP.

Phase one of the LRT project includes a 12.5-kilometre line along an existing bus route corridor from Blair Road in the east end of Ottawa to Tunney’s Pasture in the west, a tunnel through the downtown core, and 13 stations, including three underground stations.

Over the past few months, companies participated in a request for qualifications process. The three highest-scoring bidders were selected to bid on the project.

The consortiums will submit their bids by July 2012 and the winning proposal will be selected later that year.

Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2013.

Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli said the LRT would move the City of Ottawa forward.

“Our investment in transit systems also will create jobs in the Ottawa region and help reduce energy consumption, commuter travel time and congestion on local roads.”

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said three competent teams are vying for the LRT contract.

“This is an important step forward in implementing light rail for Ottawa,” said Watson. “Collectively, these firms have built over $100 billion in light rail projects and 2,000 kilometres of tunnels in cities across the globe. These companies have built successful projects in cities such as Athens, London, Madrid, Reims, Sydney, Calgary and Vancouver. These are some of the biggest, most experienced, and most capable firms in the world.”

The light rail project is expected to provide more than 20,000 person-years of employment during construction alone.