IO and Metrolinx outline billions in pipeline for ORBA Summit audience


Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) executives provided an update on what’s in the pipeline in 2022 during the Ontario Road Builders’ Association Summit.

Phil Verster, President and CEO of Metrolinx, spoke on the progress of public transit expansion projects across the province. The Hurontario LRT, Finch West LRT and Eglinton Crosstown LRT are moving at a reasonable speed despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as is the Scarborough Subway Extension.

“It was just over a year from the date we issued a bid to the date construction began on the site,” he said of the Scarborough project.

For the Ontario Line, two of the three phase contracts will be awarded in the coming months. Metrolinx is also working with the York Region and partners on the Yonge North Subway Extension.

For the GO expansion, there is a huge amount of work and procurement that will be released for Barrie, Kitchener and Lakeshore, Verster said, adding that the biggest is the On-Corridor.

“This is a contract worth over $10 billion that has been in development and on the market for three years and is now on the cusp of being awarded to proponents of initial negotiations. We will also announce that shortly and that will move forward,” he said.

Verster also spoke about the benefits of alternative models, including the alliance model used on the Union Station project.

“There’s better risk detection, better mitigation, better delivery and better schedule compliance,” Verster said. “We are extremely positive about this direction of travel.”

One of the largest advanced design-build contracts Metrolinx will announce involves stations, rails and systems at the Scarborough Subway Extension.

This year we will move 11 of our projects from procurement to construction

-Michael Lindsay

Infrastructure Ontario

“The advanced design-build company, p(roject)co, that wins this work will have a development phase with us during which we deal with all risks,” explained Verster. “This isn’t a full alliance, but it’s a long step towards an alliance… The really positive thing about this is that it’s a significantly better risk transfer, but it allows both the project partner and us to handle some of the components of the project.” not within the scope of the project.”

Michael Lindsay, President and CEO of IO, stated that the organization released its first market update for 2022 in January and that there are 39 projects in pre-sourcing and active sourcing with an estimated contract value of $60 billion.

“Eleven of our projects are expected to close financially this year and we will transition eleven of our projects from procurement to construction this year,” said Lindsay.

“The list of projects we are undertaking this year also includes 14 government-announced projects in the early planning stages, for which the timeline and delivery model are still being determined in close discussion with our industry about the best way to how these projects can be implemented to the market.”

IO pays special attention to getting the staging right for the projects, he added.

“We know it’s an exceptionally hot construction industry out there right now, and we want to make sure we’re giving people the right lead time so they can band together and prepare for our often large projects,” he said.

“We know that market capacity is not only defined by the availability of construction workers, but also by the availability of consultants to help us and help our counterparties to think about completing these projects.”

He also spoke about the opening of Highway 427 in September 2021.

Regarding other road projects, construction of the Mississauga-Milton Highway 401 extension is ongoing and expected to be completed this year. Work has also been going on for about a year to improve the QEW/Credit River Bridge, which Lindsay described as “the Department of Transportation’s most important deferred maintenance need.”

Crews are working to preserve some of the historic features of the original bridge.

From a procurement perspective, IO is currently on the market with a Highway 3 project between Essex and Leamington and expects to complete the finances later this year.

Highway 17 between Arnprior and Renfrew and the associated RFQ should begin sometime this spring.

The Ontario government has expanded the pipeline with the Bradford bypass, Lindsay said. IO is also still working with the Department of Transportation to complete planning for the Garden City Skyway, the second most important delayed rehabilitation project in the province.

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