The city of Hamilton and Metrolinx have already spent between 60 and 70 million dollars on LRT.
That revelation comes out of the latest update from Project Manager Paul Johnson who adds that at least 35 hundred jobs are to be created during construction.
Johnson adds that property off Longwood Road, near the 403, has been identified as the preferred location for an LRT operating, maintenance and storage facility.
He says that location was selected because it is near the line, not in a residential area and would have “the least impact possible to the community”.
Johnson also confirms that negotiations are underway with the owners of 43 properties identified for purchase along the rapid transit line.
He has also provided an update on LRT’s impact on traffic patterns acknowledging challenges in the area of King Street and the 403 that will require “extra effort”, beyond signal timing and the prohibiting of turns at certain intersections.
The construction contract is to be awarded in 2018 with substantial construction starting in 2019 and completion of the McMaster University to Queenston Traffic Circle line in 2024.
City Council has also heard from a real estate consultant who insists that Hamilton is “well positioned to benefit from the LRT”, including new restaurants, retail and offices.
Mark Conway of N. Barry Lyon Consultants forecasts construction investment of up to $300 million a year over 25 years, and 11 thousand new apartments in city, most built in the downtown along the corridor.