MONTREAL, QUE.—An SNC-Lavalin consortium and the federal government have finalized an agreement to design, build, finance and maintain the New Champlain Bridge, which allowed construction to recently get started on the project.
"We are happy to play a key role in delivering this signature infrastructure PPP (Public Private Partnership) project that is at the heart of Montreal’s transportation network and vital to Canada and Quebec’s economic growth," said Robert G. Card, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. president and chief executive officer, in a press release.
"This project is especially meaningful to SNC-Lavalin as we have roots in Montreal going back over 100 years."
The P3 deal between the federal government and signature on the Saint-Lawrence (SSL) Group, in which SNC-Lavalin has a 50 per cent ownership share, involves the design, construction, financing, operation and rehabilitation of the corridor, including the new Champlain Bridge.
In addition, the project includes a new smaller bridge for Île-des-Soeurs (Nun’s Island) and the federal portion of Autoroute 15 is to be reconstructed and widened. Autoroute 15 will be reconstructed on the Île-des-Soeurs Bridge.
The Project also calls for the operation and maintenance of the new Champlain Bridge Corridor and related tolling infrastructure as well as the federal section of the Bonaventure Expressway.
According to the federal government, the New Champlain Bridge project has an estimated total cost of $4.2 billion and is one of the largest construction sites in North America.
The total cost includes a $3.97 billion contract, which covers the construction period, to begin in June 2015 and end in the fall of 2019. In addition, the contract covers a subsequent 30-year operating period.
SSL will operate and maintain the bridge for the duration of the concession period until October 2049. SNC-Lavalin reported that SSL entered into a date-certain, fixed-priced contract of about $2.15 billion. The project is expected to create 30,000 high quality jobs in the Montreal region and across Canada, and ensure the economic growth and prosperity of the Greater Montreal region for generations.
"For the Government of Quebec, the new Champlain bridge will ensure a strategic passenger and freight transportation link is sustained that is vital for the Greater Montreal area and for Quebec as a whole," said Robert Poëti, Quebec Minister of Transport in a press release. "The federal government can rely on the full cooperation of Quebec’s Ministry of Transportation and its partners to help coordinate interventions and minimize the impact of this major work on traffic. This large-scale construction project, which consists of replacing one of the busiest bridges in Canada, will generate significant spin-off benefits in the metropolitan area, including, for one notable example, job creation."
The existing structure is one of the busiest crossings in the country for about 40 to 60 million cars, trucks and buses a year, and is a critical passageway for the regional and Canadian economies. In terms of Canada-US trade, more than $20 billion in cross-border goods pass through this trade corridor each year.
The new bridge is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 with the balance of the project scheduled for completion in 2019. SNC-Lavalin was also selected by the Government of Ontario as the preferred proponent for the design, finance, construction and maintenance of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT Project in Toronto.