On Thursday, January 16, 2003, Morrison Hershfield, in partnership with the City of Ottawa and Canadian Pacific Railway, was honoured with APWA's Public Works Project of the Year award in the Transportation Category for Ottawa's O-Train. The award, presented by the Ontario Chapter of the American Public Works Association, was established to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the Consultant and the Contractor (s) who, working together, complete public works projects.
When the O-Train was opened on October 15th, 2001, as an 8 km long, federally-regulated railway system, it represented a major innovation for urban transit. Not only is it the first single operator passenger railway in North America, it is also the first full implementation of light rail transit on an existing rail freight line. Additionally, the project was a unique partnership in which Morrison Hershfield was retained by Canadian Pacific Railway (the design/build contractor for OC Transpo, the Transit Authority, and the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton) to undertake project management, detailed design and construction administration for this light rail pilot project - the first step toward City-wide light rail transit in Ottawa.
Morrison Hershfield's assignment involved the development of five new light rail stations and one new Transitway Station, and the rehabilitation and upgrading of the existing infrastructure including the Dows Lake railway tunnel, maintenance facility upgrades and expansion and corridor fencing. The assignment also included the replacement and rehabilitation of various components of two railway bridges over water; coordination of various electrical, communications and signalization requirements; coordination and liaison with various stakeholders; and involvement in track design and a variety of related civil works. The project involved the collaboration of three of Morrison Hershfield's Divisions - Transportation, Building Engineering and Utilities.