LRT in the Capital getting closer to reality

Another small step for Ottawa's biggest ever construction project . With each passing month stations are taking shape.

Last week CTV News got on board the Ottawa LRT train’s inaugural ride going between four stops and passing by traffic next to the Queensway.

Tuesdat we got a closer look at how LRT stations are transforming from construction projects into landmark transit hubs.

When it’s open the Rideau Station will become a signature feature of Ottawa's new transit system… not just for the trains to pass through it but for the record setting escalator being built underground. It will be the longest transit escalator in Canada. It's going to change the transit game in Ottawa. The escalator is  about 180 steps and 120 feet long, and will take you to Rideau and Sussex streets. Rideau station is the deepest of all the stations on the line.

OC Transpo General Manager John Manconi says “The train has gone through. There's permanent power connected to all of the Western stations. The elevators and escalators are being installed throughout the network and there has been good progress started on the wood ceiling at the eastern end of the system”

At Hurdman Station glass panels are going up to shield people from the elements and bring in natural light.

Final ceramic flooring is going in at Parliament and Lyon Stations and at Tunney's Pasture skylights will soon be ready to install.

“Inside the guts of St. Laurent you start to see finishes: everything from the glass doors in the elevators to the ceiling and litter bins and ceramic walls and finishes that are throughout the stations,” Manconi adds.

Public art has started. Security systems are being installed. We can see the progress but there's still lots to do.

“The complicated part is the train testing and commissioning and the control systems… that takes literally months of work and repetitive trials. It's thousands and thousands of tests and behind the scenes there’s literally thousands of pages of documentation of hundreds of tests that have to be done on each piece of equipment,“ explains Manconi.

LRT Construction Director Steve Cripps says “Essentially all the track is laid except the last short piece in the tunnel coming up the ramp towards the University of Ottawa, so that will be completed this week.”

A ceremony will mark the milestone.

Now the pressure is on RTG to meet that November deadline to hand over the keys to the city -- six months later than originally expected.

Manconi says he won't say with 100 percent certainty that RTG will meet that November deadline for this project to be done. He says that is their responsibility. But he says RTG has assured him it's their mission to meet that deadline.