Fengate, Ellis Don win $1.3bn Canadian light rail project

The City of Edmonton has chosen TransEd Partners to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the 13km Valley Line LRT.

The 18-month long procurement of the Valley Line Light Rail Train (LRT) has reached a major milestone with the selection of a preferred bidder for the C$1.8 billion (€1.27 billion; $1.34 billion) project.

TransEd Partners, a consortium comprising Fengate Capital Management, Bechtel, Ellis Don and Bombardier, will design, build, finance, operate and maintain stage one of the project. The LRT will connect Mill Woods to downtown Edmonton upon completion.

The first phase of the project includes 11 street-level stops, a park and ride facility and full transit centre, a new bridge across the North Saskatchewan River and a short tunnel connecting the north face of River Valley to the Quarters redevelopment.

TransEd Partners was one of three shortlisted international teams competing for the project. “Teams were evaluated on their experience in the design and construction of LRT systems as well as operation, maintenance and finance,” according to a statement by the City of Edmonton. “The proposal from TransEd Partners demonstrated the best overall value for citizens.

Commercial and financial close are expected in February 2016, with construction slated to begin shortly thereafter and taking about four years to complete.

Funding for the $1.8 billion project is being provided by several sources. The City of Edmonton is contributing C$800 million, while the province of Alberta is providing C$600 million through Green Trip, an interest-free loan and matching federal funding under the New Building Canada Fund. The federal government is contributing C$400 million through PPP Canada and the New Building Canada Fund.

The second stage of the project, which will add another 14 kilometres west from Churchill Station, will serve as an LRT hub connecting the new line with Edmonton’s existing LRT to Lewis Farms.