MONTREAL — CDPQ Infra has announced a revised timetable for procurement and the start of construction on the Reseau electrique metropolitain (REM) light rail network that will link downtown Montreal, South Shore, West Island, North Shore and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
The infrastructure arm of the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec pension fund now says the preferred consortiums for the two contracts — one engineering and construction, the other for rolling stock — will be selected by mid-February 2018, allowing construction of the REM to begin in the spring.
A previous timetable for the 27-station, 67-kilometre network had contemplated early construction being initiated before the end of this year.
The CDPQ Infra statement issued Dec. 1 said it is “launching a period of intensive discussions with the qualified consortiums to obtain the best value for money for the engineering and construction contract.”
The tender process will remain open until the end of January 2018. The statement indicated, “Detailed analyses have demonstrated that additional discussions are required to achieve the best value for money.”
Verification and validation mechanisms overseen by two external auditors and an independent committee will apply to the period of discussions with the bidders, said CDPQ Infra. For the rolling stock and operations contract, proposals received are in line with the major principles set by CDPQ Infra, the statement said. Therefore, additional discussions are not currently planned.
Once completed, the REM will be the fourth largest automated transportation system in the world after Singapore (82 kilometres), Dubai (80 kilometres) and Vancouver (68 kilometres).
More than 34,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created during the project’s construction, and more than 1,000 permanent jobs would be created upon completion, a previous statement had indicated.