More than four years after the province of Ontario announced up to $1 billion to build a light-rail transit line in Hamilton, the first sign of construction is visible.
The highly debated, 14-kilometre LRT line (to be on tracks separated from regular traffic) is poised to offer speedy service from McMaster University to Eastgate Square.
“Some ‘early works’ construction has recently begun to prepare underground pipes before major LRT construction begins. There is ongoing work on Queenston Road around the Traffic Circle as Trans North Pipelines lowers a section of their pipeline to make room for other pipes that will be moved for future LRT work. This work should wrap up by the end of the year. The City of Hamilton will also be doing early works to relocate sewers and water mains starting in 2020,” said Kris Jacobson, the director of the LRT project office for the City of Hamilton.
The project is currently out for tender. In April 2018, Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx issued a Request for Proposals to three shortlisted teams to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Hamilton LRT for a 30-year period. Bid submissions are expected in spring 2020, and contract award later in the year. The first year of major construction is expected to be 2021, but the exact phasing and timing of construction will be determined by the successful bidder.
The three teams were selected based on the evaluation of criteria identified in a Request for Qualifications process that began in February 2017. Selection criteria included design, construction, maintenance and operational experience, as well as the financial capacity to deliver a project of this size and scope.
The shortlisted teams and their prime team members are:
CityLine Transit Group
- Equity providers: ACS, Aecon, CRH, TIAA
- Constructors: Dragados, Aecon, Dufferin
- Design team: Parsons, HDR, Amec, RDHA
- Operation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation team: ACS, Aecon, CRH, Serco
- Equity providers: EllisDon, Fluor, Bombardier
- Constructors: Fluor Canada, EllisDon Civil, Bombardier
- Design team: WSP/MMM, Hatch, Gh3, Bombardier
- Operation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation team: EllisDon Facilities Services, Bombardier
- Equity providers: Astaldi, John Laing, Hitachi-Ansaldo, Amico, Transdev
- Constructors: Astaldi, Hitachi-Ansaldo, Amico, Bot
- Design team: IBI, Hitachi-Ansaldo, Daoust Lestage, Morrison Hershfield, Exp Services, Arcadis
- Operation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation team: Transdev, Hitachi-Ansaldo, Astaldi
“Exciting progress continues on the Hamilton LRT project. We have three teams bidding on the project that both Metrolinx and our partners at the City are regularly meeting with to ensure they understand the complexities of this corridor. In fall of next year, we will have a contract awarded to the preferred team, and major construction following shortly thereafter,” said Jamie Robinson, director, community relations and communications for Metrolinx.
The mammoth Hamilton transit overhaul began to take shape in May 2015, when former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the province would provide up to $1 billion for the Hamilton LRT — making it part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history.
“Hamilton LRT has unique qualities, as does every rapid transit project. Metrolinx has and continues to work closely with the City of Hamilton to understand the unique characteristic of this corridor. The project is being delivered under the design-build-finance-operate-maintain model — the same model as Hurontario LRT in Mississauga. Best practices from other Metrolinx rapid transit projects, including Hurontario and also Finch-West LRT and Crosstown, all of which are in active construction, will be applied, as will global innovations from the consortium selected to design and build the project,” said Robinson.