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Calgary’s Green Line transit project goes to RFQ

The next step in Calgary’s $5.5 billion Green Line project is underway, with a planned Request for Qualifications on the project’s first phase.

The RFQ signals the city’s intention to qualify prospective bidders prior to selecting a development partner. The city said it’s a milestone step in the Calgary Transit megaproject. They had planned for the Design-Build-Finance RFQ to be released at the end of Q1, 2022.

“Following extensive consultation with the market and alignment of all funding partners, the Green Line Board has approved a collaborative procurement strategy to build Phase 1 of the Green Line LRT project,” said Don Fairbairn, Chair, Green Line Board.

“The RFQ is a significant step towards delivering this important city-shaping project.”

Phase 1 is 18 kilometres of track, from Eau Claire to Shepard. It will have 13 stations along that route. It also includes the most technically challenging aspect of the build – the downtown tunnel.

The RFQ allows the city to continue toward its goal of selecting a development partner in early 2023. The RFQ creates a shortlist of potential contractors.  The development stage is expected to take 12 months.

Previously, the Calgary Construction Association has said that the consolidation of the project limits the bidding pool.

Progress continues

The February progress report, to be delivered at Friday’s Green Line Board meeting, shows cost escalation on the project remains a concern. The report said, “effective mitigation measures continue to be implemented.”

Earlier this year, Green Line CEO Darshpreet Bhatti outlined how they were tackling escalating costs.

In January, Bhatti told the city council Executive Committee that right now the Green Line cost escalations could be managed.

“If that continues for another six, seven months, it may not be an issue. But if it continues for the next six years, that is definitely an issue and that’s hard for us to assess at this point," Bhatti said at the time.

Meanwhile, construction on the Beltline Downtown Utility Relocation Project also continues. Deep utility and third-party utility construction in the Beltline East will ramp up in April.