A consortium led by Plenary Group Canada has reached financial close on the $467 million Southwest Rapid Transitway (Stage 2) and Pembina Highway Underpass Project, the largest infrastructure project the city of Winnipeg has undertaken to date.
The announcement comes less than two months since Plenary Group Canada and its partners, PCL Constructors Canada and Alberta Highway Services were named preferred bidders.
Construction is on schedule to begin this summer and the project is expected to reach completion in late 2019, followed by a period of testing, training and commissioning before commencing operation in April 2020.
“When completed, the project will allow Winnipeg Transit to bypass heavy traffic volumes on Pembina Highway, leading to a greater on-time reliability, higher travel speeds and improved service to the surrounding neighborhoods,” the Melbourne-based infrastructure investor and developer said in a statement.
The project includes extending Winnipeg's Bus Rapid Transit Corridors – high-speed roadways for buses, physically separated from the regular street system – by 7.6km, adding 10 transit stations, two park-and-ride facilities, two transit way bridges, an overpass, an underpass and a tunnel.
According to Winnipeg Transit, the project will help accommodate anticipated population growth in southwest Winnipeg that could lead to an estimated 40 percent traffic increase on Pembina Highway by 2030.
Stage 1 of the Southwest Rapid Transitway opened in April 2012 and connects downtown Winnipeg with nearby Pembina and Jubilee. Phase 2 of the project will extend the Transitway from Pembina and Jubilee south to the University of Manitoba.
Plenary Roads Winnipeg will operate and maintain the bus corridor and underpass from 2019 through 2049, at which point the assets will revert back to the city of Winnipeg in “a condition acceptable to the City”.