Hamilton LRT – So close, yet so far…
The Hamilton LRT project by Metrolinx is on hold for an undetermined length of time after the provincial government called for a freeze on discretionary spending. As a result, the expropriation of properties and displacement of tenants and businesses is also at a standstill for the time being. 45 properties along Main St, King St, and Queenston Rd have already been purchased to make space for the 14 km stretch alotted for the light rail transit system, which works out to be roughly 50% of what is needed.
City council has had more than 60 votes in support of the project, but the longstanding discussion about whether it will be a reality or not has people wondering if the entire project is at risk. Mayor Fred Eisenberger says he met with Ford on Wednesday and it’s his understanding that Hamilton LRT isn’t the only project that’s been halted. Other Metrolinx projects are still going forward but they are further along in development than Hamilton is.
“Yes, we’re on of the few projects that’s still in the land acquisition stage, but so is Metrolinx GO transit for the Niagara expansion,” said Eisenberger. “That’s my understanding, that’s where the concern is and that’s where the pause came from.”
During his election campaign, Ford said that he would give Hamilton $1.3 billion for infrastructure whether the LRT goes through or not. What actually happens still remains to be seen.