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Crosslinx selected for Toronto Crosstown LRT 24 Jun 2015

Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk

Crosslinx Transit Solutions, an international consortium comprising Canadian divisions of ACS Infrastructure and its construction company Dragados of Spain, and prime team members Aecon, EllisDon, and SNC-Lavalin of Canada, is selected as the preferred proponent of two rivals to design, build, finance and maintain the Can$5.3 billion Eglinton Crosstown LRT line in Toronto.

Alignment of the 19km Crosstown LRT with 11.25km and 12 of the 25 stations located underground
Alignment of the 19km Crosstown LRT with 11.25km and 12 of the 25 stations located underground

The estimated Can$4 billion contract for the Provincial infrastructure development agency Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto regional transport authority Metrolinx, is claimed as one of the largest single infrastructure development contracts in Canada’s history. The project includes design, build, finance and maintenance of the track, rolling stock and railway systems for the 19km LRT line for a 30-year term. Of the 19km line, some 10km and 12 of its 25 stations is aligned underground with the remaining trackway and stations running at grade (Fig 1).

Construction of the new line began in 2011 with award of the Can$320 million contract for excavation of the 6.25km of 5.75m i.d. west section of twin-running tunnels from the Black Creek Station launch site to Eglinton Station to Crosstown Transit Constructors JV, comprising Obayashi Canada, Kenny Construction (now part of Granite Construction), Kenaidan Contracting and Technicore Underground (Fig 1).

The JV is using two of four new EPBMs, procured for the project by Metrolinx from Toronto-based Caterpillar Tunneling Division (previously Lovat and since sold to Liaoning Censcience Industry Co Ltd of China). The two machines achieved a simultaneous breakthrough into the Allen Road reception shaft to the west of Eglinton West Station in January 2015 to complete the first half of their 6.25km journey. After being lifted from the reception shaft in March, the two machines will continue their drives from a launch shaft on the other side of Eglinton West station for the second leg of their journey.

West Tunnel TBMs broke through into Allen Road shaft in Jan 2015
West Tunnel TBMs broke through into Allen Road shaft in Jan 2015

The two other machines for the shorter 3.25km eastern tunnels are in the process of being launched by the 50/50 JV of ASC Dragados Canada and Aecon following awarded in November 2013 of a $177 million contract by Metrolinx. The East tunnel section runs from the future Eglinton Station to the transition portal at Brentcliffe Road just east of the future Laird Station (Fig 1). ASC Dragados/Aecon was second to Obayashi/Kenny/Kenaidan/Technicore of the seven bidders for the first west tunnel contract.

Selection of Crosslinx as preferred proponent for the design-build-finance-maintain contract of the line by Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx follows what is described as an open, fair and competitive procurement process overseen by a third party fairness advisor.

The rival proposal was submitted by Crosstown Transit Partners, which included Fengate Capital Management, OHL Concesiones of Spain, STRABAG of Austria, Bechtel Development Co and Obayashi Canada Holdings.

Overall investment of $5.3 billion in the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is the single-largest transit project in the history of the Province. Final contract details under the Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model, will be negotiated by Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx with Crosslinx in the next coming months. Following that, the cost of the project, design details and expected construction schedule will be announced publicly signaling award of the signed contract. The contract includes design, construction and fitout of all 25 stations on the line, installation of an integrated system of track work, signalling and communications infrastructure and procurement of the fleet of rolling stock to be supplied by Bombardier.

Construction work by Crosslinx is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2016 with services on the completed line schedules to begin in 2020. The four principal partners of the consortium will each hold a 25% interest in the equity, development, construction and operations and maintenance activities of the project.

Metrolinx, as the Province of Ontario regional transportation agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), has currently $16 billion worth of rapid transit projects underway with Eglinton Crosstown LRT project a key project identified in its Regional Transportation Plan. Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx said, “the Eglinton Crosstown project represents a significant investment in expanded transit for Toronto. We are pleased with the progress we have made and look forward to the next phase of delivering this important project."

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