Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, August 7, 2015
first phase of the LRT may also connect to waterfront
The latest twist in Hamilton’s long-running LRT saga leads straight to the waterfront.
Two months ago, Premier Kathleen Wynne surprised city politicians with a $1-billion promise to build light rail transit along the King Street corridor — with the caveat it must link to the new James Street GO station via an unplanned spur line.
Now, a city report outlining the next steps for the ambitious project suggests the north-south spur line could be extended all the way to the waterfront.
That’s the “ideal vision,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who cautioned Metrolinx has yet to weigh in on the notion or cost of extending the spur beyond the west harbour GO Station.
“I think the spur line makes all sorts of sense, given what we have in mind for the waterfront, and in my mind it’s doable.”
“I think it makes all sorts of sense, given what we have in mind for the waterfront, and in my mind it’s doable,” he said after the city released a LRT update report Wednesday.
The city is working furiously to prepare for a hoped-for $500 million development boom on piers 7 and 8, including up to 1,600 housing units and new commercial space.
Originally, the city asked for $811 million to build a 14-kilometre, east-west line running along the “B-line” transit corridor between McMaster University and Eastgate Square.
But the province signed off on a shortened line ending at the Queenston traffic circle to cover the added cost of a link to the GO station. The section east of the traffic circle is identified as an unfunded “phase two” project.
Extending the spur line to add a waterfront stop — almost a kilometre beyond the GO station — would fulfil part of the city’s long-term vision for a north-south “A line” rapid transit route from the harbour to the airport, noted city spokesperson Mike Kirkopoulos. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)