Bechtel consortium wins $1.3bn Edmonton Valley light rail scheme

TransEd Partners, a consortium led by US engineering giant Bechtel, has been selected by the City of Edmonton to deliver the first phase of the CAN$1.8bn (US$1.3bn) Edmonton Valley Line Light Rail Transit project.

Bechtel said the City of Edmonton is Canada’s second fastest-growing city, and is expected to increase in size by 50% by 2040.

The project will be delivered using a public-private partnership procurement model, known as PPP or P3. Bechtel is the lead partner for the design and construction of the project, and has also helped to secure financing. It will help manage and maintain the line.

Keith Hennessey, Bechtel’s manager of Public-Private Partnerships, North America, praised Edmonton’s vision to develop a "safe, efficient, and sustainable transit line that will help drive economic growth for the region."

Built in phases, the 27-km line will ultimately have 25 stops and three stations for an estimated 100,000 daily commuters. The line will run southeast to west from Mill Woods to Lewis Farms, crossing through Edmonton’s downtown core.

The first phase of the Valley Line is a 13-km portion with 11 stops and one two-storey station. Construction is due to start later this year.

In addition to Bechtel, TransEd includes Canadian train maker Bombardier, Ontario-based contractor EllisDon and Fengate Capital Management.

The team members have previously worked on Ottawa’s Confederation Line, the New Jersey Transit River Line, Nottingham Express Phase 1, Dulles Silver Line Phase 1, the Riyadh Metro, the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension and London’s Crossrail.

Bechtel said the Valley Line is the first contract to be won by its dedicated P3 business unit, which combines the company’s design-and-build experience and its background as an equity investor and developer of projects. The team will initially focus on the North American transportation market.

Photograph: Edmonton skyline in late autumn, 2010, with the Muttart Conservatory habitat pyramids in the foreground. Bechtel says Edmonton is Canada’s second-fastest growing city (Wikimedia Commons)

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