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‘Show your work’: Calgary wants to review Green Line consultant report

Calgary will make an official request to the province for the consultant’s report on the $5 billion Green Line.

This comes as the city delayed procurement for three months due to ongoing work on the province’s review.

The two sides have squabbled over the availability of specifics on the province’s general concern that were outlined in a letter to the city in October from Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver.

The province has said they’ve provided specifics to the city, though they haven’t made the report available. They have said it contains commercially sensitive material that could impact the RFP.

The city has maintained they haven’t seen any paper showing them precisely what are the province’s concerns.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said they recently received a letter clarifying more of the province’s worries, but they want the report.

“I’m actually pleased that we have something written down,” he said.

“I feel that at least now we have straightened out the playing field, and that it’s really important that we are able to agree that we want to get this done that we want to get it done in the best possible way.”

Mayor Nenshi did say that he disagreed with “a number of the allegations and assertions” made in the most recent letter, but don’t knock down the city’s work without showing your own.

“You can disagree with it, so cast aspersions on the work that’s been done… and show your work,” he said.

The province said releasing the report won’t change the need for taxpayer answers.

“Alberta taxpayers are being asked to provide $1.5 billion to the project. Serious, expert concerns have been raised whether the City’s total planned budget for the Green Line will fall far short of actually completing the project,” wrote Mckenzie Kibler, press secretary to Minister Ric McIver.

“Should that happen, the City would inevitably come back asking the provincial government for additional funds.”

The design-build process

Coun. Shane Keating, chair of Calgary’s Green Line committee walked through the construction process with Green Line GM Michael Thompson.

They went through the staging of it, the request for proposals (RFPs), and how that tied to design and then ultimately construction.

Thompson explained they started with the initial plan that was put to the three contractors selected. They meet with those groups for eight to 10 months to review the design. They provide pricing.  The city awards a contract.

“Once it’s awarded you get into the finer details of the design,” Keating said.

“What’s been stated is we haven’t done detailed design… well you technically don’t do detailed design, you do it as you build because that what DB (design build) actually means.”

Keating, who has championed the project from the start, said this is a credible project.

“What’s missing is three partners willing to finance it and continue work.”