Acciona, SNC sign C$769m Alberta road PPP

Construction on the 25 kilometre road, the largest highway project in the Canadian province’s history, is expected to begin in May and open to traffic by the fall of 2013. Alberta estimates the PPP will save taxpayers C$1bn.

The Alberta government has inked a C$769 million (€568 million; $767 million) public-private partnership with a team of Spanish and Canadian infrastructure developers to complete a 25 kilometre section of ring road encircling the Canadian province’s largest city, Calgary.

The project – estimated to save taxpayers C$1 billion – is also the largest highway project in Alberta’s history, according to the government.

Under the terms of the contract, Spanish infrastructure developer Acciona and Montreal-based engineering and construction giant SNC Lavalin will design, build, operate and partially operate the six-lane road, known as Stoney Trail Southeast. The contract also includes maintenance of a small stretch of an adjacent road called the Deerfoot Trail.

Acciona and SNC bid for the project under a 50-50 joint venture named Chinook roads Partnership.

Chinook is expected to start construction in May 2010 and the road is expected to open for traffic by the fall of 2013, according to a statement.

Once the road opens to traffic, the Alberta government will make monthly payments to Chinook over the 30-year life of the contract. The government believes taxpayers will save C$1 billion as a result of the public-private partnership (PPP) because traditional delivery would have cost C$1.8 billion. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach also said in a statement that the PPP allows the province to take advantage of lower construction prices.

The C$769 million cost of the PPP delivery will be met in part with C$232 million from the Alberta government and $100 million from the government of Canada.

It is the fourth PPP for a road project in Alberta. Besides two stretches of the Edmonton ring road, the northeast stretch of the Calgary ring road was awarded as a PPP in 2007 to the Stoney Trail Group, a consortium that included Bilfinger Berger BOT and Flatiron Constructors as major financial and construction partners, respectively. Construction on that 21 kilometer part of the ring road started in spring 2007.

Alberta Ring Road: On its way to completion
Source: Province of Alberta