– Calgary Mayor awards west LRT contract

Calgary Herald

By Jason Markusof

First train set to run December 2012

Jim Burke, executive vice-president with SNC Lavalin, holds drawings of the west LRT project after it was announced Thursday that Lavalin was awarded the contract. Photograph by: Dean Bicknell, Calgary Herald, Calgary Herald

CALGARY- The start-to-finish construction of the west LRT line in three years may sound like a gargantuan undertaking.

But for the company the city has hired to build the light-rail line, it’s a lesser feat than one it accomplished earlier this year: the Vancouver Skytrain’s downtown-to-airport Canada Line.

SNC Lavalin, a Quebec-headquartered engineering and construction giant, won the contract to open the west LRT for service at exactly 5 a.m. on Dec. 10, 2012, Mayor Dave Bronconnier announced Thursday.

“Their bid demonstrated the expertise in delivering a project just like this, on time and on budget,” Bronconnier said at a news conference to officially launch the project’s construction phase.

SNC had slightly longer– four years–to construct the Vancouver heavy-rail expansion, but it required more than double the amount of track and stations and demanded a tunnel beneath False Creek.

But that doesn’t mean executive vice-president John Burke is downplaying SNC’s challenges on the Calgary LRT project.

“It is, in terms of Canada Line — which was the biggest infrastructure project undertaken in Canada at the time–it’s somewhat smaller, but it’s still a big project,” he said in an interview.

Calgary council has approved $700 million for the line construction, and $1.2 billion for the entire project, including property acquisitions, a Sarcee Trail-17th Avenue interchange and a replacement for Ernest Manning High School.

The city hasn’t released the exact costs for SNC’s design and construction contract, but it was low enough that council was able to insert a $61-million underpass at 45th Street S.W. and still fit within its budget.

This will be the C-Train’s single biggest expansion since the northeast line in 1985.

However, at 8.4 kilometres, it will be the shortest of the system’s four branches.

jmarkusoff@theherald.canwest.com

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Calgary, Light Rail Transit, transit

%d bloggers like this: