CANADA: Provincial infrastructure development agency Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto regional transport authority Metrolinx named Crosslinx Transit Solutions as preferred bidder to design, build, finance and maintain the track and railway systems for the C$5·3bn Eglinton Crosstown light rail project on June 9.

The Crosslinx Transit Solution consortium comprises:

  • ACS Infrastructure Canada;
  • Aecon;
  • EllisDon;
  • SNC-Lavalin;
  • Dragados Canada.

A rival bid has been submitted by the Crosstown Transit Partners consortium of Fengate Capital Management, OHL Concesiones, Strabag, Bechtel and Obayashi Canada Holdings.

Financial close is expected ‘this summer’, at which point the final cost, design details and construction schedule will be announced.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT will run across Eglinton Avenue between Mount Dennis (Weston Road) and Kennedy Station. It will be 19 km long, with segregated surface lines and a 10 km underground section in twin bore tunnels between Keele Street and Laird Drive. There will be 25 stops offering interchanges with bus routes, three metro stations and GO Transit services. Journeys are expected to be up to 60% faster than the current bus service.

Construction began in 2011 with the west launch site at Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue, and tunnelling is underway using four TBMs. The vehicles are to be supplied by Bombardier.

‘The Eglinton Crosstown project demonstrates our bold vision to invest in transportation infrastructure across Ontario’, said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment & Infrastructure. ‘This significant project will spur economic activity in the Toronto region, creating hundreds of jobs, reducing congestion, and helping us build a more prosperous province for future generations.’