Infrastructure Ontario (IO) is preparing to enter the second phase of the $5.3 billion Eglinton Crosstown project this summer with the selection of the winning bidder and the release of more details about the cost and schedule.
"We are still in the procurement phase and haven’t announced a preferred proponent," said Lisa DiMenna, IO communications advisor.
"The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is a design-build finance maintain P3 contract that is currently in procurement. The RFP closed earlier this year and we have evaluated it. So, we are finalizing the details and preparing for financial close, which we are anticipating for this summer. The Crosstown is a light rail transit (LRT) line that will run across Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy Station. This 19-kilometre corridor will include a 10-kilometre underground portion, between Keele Street and Laird Drive."
The project contracts for the tunneling and the transit system have been split into two parts.
Metrolinx and IO released the request for proposals in December 2013 to the consortia who pre-qualified to build the balance of the project. Crosslinx Transit Solutions and Crosstown Transit Partners were invited to submit formal proposals.
"These two teams had a year to prepare their bids," said DiMenna.
"There were a lot of changes over the course of the year in the design of the stations, the trackwork, signaling and all the components to build the LRT."
In addition, they must demonstrate how they will maintain the system over a 30-year period as well as finance the multi-billion dollar project. The project is expected to open in late 2020.
Despite the fact that the winning consortium has yet to be named, The Canadian Press recently reported that Crosslinx Transit Solutions was selected by IO and Metrolinx as the preferred bidder group.
The consortium includes SNC-Lavalin, Aecon, EllisDon, Stantec, ACS Infrastructure Canada, Dragrados and IBI Group.
If this report is true it means the losing consortium was Crosstown Transit Partners, which included Fengate Capital Management, OHL Concesiones, STRABAG, Bechtel Development Co. and Obayashi Canada Holdings.
"After financial close, we will post the project agreement, as well as the value for money report," said DiMenna.
"In large part this is the RFP from the government and the final contract. Details of the project will be shared publicly at the financial close, once the agreement is signed."
Currently, the project is reported to have 25 stations and stops, linking to bus routes, three subway stations and various GO Transit lines.
There are a number of major considerations for station design, including accessibility, development potential, integration with surrounding communities, and management of construction disruption.
At Eglinton West Station (Allen Road) and Eglinton Station (Yonge Street) the Crosstown line will be built to cross underneath the existing subway lines.
Seventeen traction power substations are proposed along the Eglinton Crosstown LRT with an average of 1.5 kilometre spacing for the surface sections and 2.0 kilometre spacing for the underground sections.
The Crosstown represents a $5.3 billion (2010) transit infrastructure investment, which is the largest in the history of the region.
Follow Richard Gilbert on Twitter @buildingcanada.