CANADA: The city of Calgary has awarded the joint venture of SNC Lavalin Graham Infrastructure the C$700m design-build contract for the 8·2 km West LRT project.

The six-station extension of Calgary’s 202 light rail line, which currently runs across the city between 10 St SW and McKnight-Westwinds, will begin at the existing downtown terminal on 7th Avenue and 10th Street and run west to 73rd Street SW. Construction will take just three years, with Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier declaring revenue service will start at precisely 05.00 on December 10 2012.

Bronconnier held a news conference on October 30 to announce the winning bidder; the other two firms shortlisted for the negotiated procurement were Calwest LRT Constructors Joint Venture and PCL/KMC West LRT Joint Venture.

‘Their (SNC Lavalin’s) bid demonstrated the expertise in delivering a project just like this, on time and on budget,’ Bronconnier said, referring to the firm’s performance in building Vancouver’s recently opened Canada Line.

The project includes one elevated and two subway stations plus a five-block section in an open trench. The total cost of the line, including property acquisition, a major highway interchange, a replacement for a high school that will be razed and new rolling stock, is estimated at C$1·2bn.