A CONSORTIUM led by Siemens has been selected as preferred bidder for a DBOM contract to develop Ottawa's 31 km north-south light rail line linking the Rideau Centre to Barrhaven.

The winning team includes Siemens Canada, PCL Constructors Canada, Dufferin Construction and local architects Griffiths Rankin Cook. Two other consortia had bid for the C$725m contract: Ottawa LRT Group comprising SNC Lavalin and Bombardier, and the Ottawa Transit Group formed by Kiewit-EllisDon, Kinki Sharyo and Herzog Contracting.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli expects to complete negotiations in early June, with the final price depending on which features are included. Some ideas from the other bids may be adopted - the city has paid the losing consortia C$1m each for the rights to their proposals. Once the negotiations are completed, the plan will be released for public consultation.

The city council is expected to approve the final package in September, with work on the line to be completed in 2009. Under the terms of the contract, the consortium will then run the line for 15 years.