By Kevin Werner, News Staff
It’s good to go for Hamilton’s newest GO transit station.
The province has given a $44-million contract to Kenaidan Contracting Ltd. of Mississauga to build the long-await Go station at 353 James Street North by LIUNA Station, a former train station itself.
No one was more excited about the prospect of more GO train service to the city as Mayor Bob Bratina who has been championing more GO trains to the municipality.
“Nine years ago I set up a task force to get passenger service back to theJames Street Northlocation,” he said. “And here we are 2014.”
Work is expected to begin later this spring, and will be completed in July 2015, prior to the Pan Am Games.
The service will include two more train trips in the morning and afternoon to and from Hamilton on the Lakeshore line.
The station will be connected to a nearby plaza, and will include a multi-level parking area with 300 spots. There will be new bus bays, a pick up and drop off zone and pedestrian walkways. It will create about 400 jobs.
Bratina said even though the train station isn’t built yet, developers have taken advantage of the station location by constructing a new condominium structure nearby.
“It’s already paid off because there is a brand new condo almost next door,” he said. “That was based on the idea that there would be a GO station.”
Glen Murray, transportation and infrastructure minister, who along with Hamilton Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, made the announcement Feb. 28, said what is preventing Hamilton from getting its two-way GO service is the limited use of train track between Hamiltonand Aldershot.
The province rents the track from CN and CP for regional commuter service. The next step, said Murray, a former mayor of Winnipeg, is to get the right-of-way in Aldershot.
“We are trying to buy up that track between Aldershot and Hamilton,”Murray told reporters. “I have put a greater priority on building that track. As soon as we buy up that track, that’s what’s holding (all day GO Service).”
Murray said, though, buying the track will prove costly, about $2 billion to purchase the track, upgrade it and get the right equipment in place.”