Things have been fairly quiet on the Hurontario light rail (LRT) project for the last few months, but now the project has reached a major milestone.

The Province has officially released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new LRT line.

The $1.4 billion project will stretch from Port Credit GO Station in Mississauga to Gateway Terminal in Brampton and will include 22 stops and connections to GO Transit’s Milton and Lakeshore West lines.

Three proposals will be shortlisted by Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx later this year, with the contract being awarded in 2018, with construction expected to break ground not long after.

While most of the 20 kilometres of track will reside in Mississauga, some key decisions still have to be made on the Brampton front as well, such as which side of Steeles the LRT will stop, whether it will need to go underground, and most notably, whether it will eventually extend past Steeles.

Back in 2015, some city councillors voted down the provincially funded and proposed route that was initially supposed to terminate in downtown Brampton.

Councillors went back to the drawing board a number of times, at one point suggesting the LRT should cut through a creek bed and residential park inciting backlash from the community.

In February Council voted to spend $4.4 million to conduct more studies on alternative routes down Kennedy Road and McLaughlin Road, notwithstanding the fact that these routes were considered by experts during the process of deciding the original Hurontario LRT route.

Currently, Council has no viable plan to fund a route down Kennedy or McLaughlin since funding was taken off the table after the Main Street option was turned down and with the project breaking ground next year, it’s highly unlikely that it would be completed in time to be operational for the project’s completion date of 2022.

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