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Calgary selects RFQ shortlist for $5.5B Green Line transit project

Two partnership groups are on track to submit their bids in a request for proposal (RFP) on phase 1 of Calgary’s Green Line.

Bow Transit Connectors and City Link Partners have been selected after the request for qualifications on the $5.5 billion transit project.

Bow Transit Connectors is made up of Barnard Constructors of Canada, LP, Flatiron Constructors Canada Ltd and WSP Canada Inc. City Link Partners is comprised of Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc, Dragados Canada Inc, Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc, Parsons Inc and AECOM Canada Ltd.

Phase 1 is the 18 kilometres section from Shepard to Eau Claire. It includes the technically complex downtown portion of the line.

“Green Line is confidently moving forward with Bow Transit Connectors and City Link Partners, two very strong proponent teams,” said Green Line board chair, Don Fairbairn.

“With extensive competition due to record investment in global transit, to have attracted their collective expertise is a great endorsement of the project.”

Submissions were whittled down by evaluating technical ability, approach, experience and financial capacity, the city said.

The RFP will be released by the end of Q3 2022, with a selection made in early 2023. A 12-month development phase will begin at that time. They’ll review design, plus evaluate risks and costs at that time.

“This is a very strong step for Green Line and speaks to the work done by the City to collaborate with industry to drive interest and investment,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek, in a prepared release.

These two partnerships were the only ones reviewed in the RFQ. Both were evaluated and were qualified to move forward, the city said.

Concerns about escalating costs linger

Last week, Calgary’s Executive Committee got a Green Line board Q3 update.

At that meeting, councillors were told that the project is under constant review to avoid or eliminate extra costs. The next 12-months would provide the time needed to give a better cost assessment, Fairbairn said at the time.

Still, the cost concern had prompted some on council to wonder if the project needs to be re-examined.

Ward 1 Coun. Sonya Sharp said they’d be getting another update later this year, and at that time they may need to consider if the project is “on the right track.”

“With the inflation costs rising, I really hope that council gets an opportunity to review some of those stage gates before things proceed,” she said.

“I think that’s the time where some of us need to re-evaluate what kind of track this Green Line is going on.”

In the exclusive LWC-member, Mayor and Me podcast, Mayor Gondek said small adjustments might be up for discussion. A reconsideration of the prior project approval is a no go.

“That’s not open for debate right now,” she said.

The mayor also said the whole phase 1 would remain intact. When asked if there was a chance only the Elbow River to Shepard section would get done, she said no.

“Not if I have anything to do with it,” she said.

“And last time I checked, I’m on council. So, it’s on me and my colleagues to make sure this project gets done the way it needs to be done for this city to succeed.”