A $1.8bn contract to build a road bridge in Montreal has been awarded to Signature on the Saint-Lawrence Group, a consortium made up of contractors SNC-Lavalin, Hochtief, Flatiron, Dragados Canada and Grupo ACS.
We expect that as many as 30,000 high-quality jobs will be created by this project over the coming years in the Montreal region and across Canada– Denis Lebel, Quebec’s minister of infrastructure
The New Champlain Bridge Corridor Project, one of the largest infrastructure schemes under way in North America, involves the construction of a 3.4km bridge over the St Lawrence that will carry six lanes of road traffic as well as a segregated cycle and pedestrian lane, and will have space left over for a light rail system to be added in the future.
As well as the New Champlain, there will be a bridge to the Â ÃŽle-des-Soeurs and reconstruction and widening work on Highway 15, which runs through the centre of Montreal.
Marcelino Fernández Verdes, chief executive of Hochtief, said: "Construction of this bridge in such a prominent location is currently one of the most important PPP projects in North America. We will be tackling this challenge with our bundled competence and experience."
Denis Lebel, federal infrastructure and economic development minister for Quebec, said: "We expect that as many as 30,000 high-quality jobs will be created by this project over the coming years in the Montreal region and across Canada.
"These are well-paying jobs for steel workers and welders, for truck drivers and concrete workers, for equipment suppliers and service providers. With the selection ofÂ Signature on the Saint-Lawrence GroupÂ and the start of preparatory work in a few weeks, we remain on track to open the new Champlain Bridge by December 2018."
Work on the rest of the corridor is due to be completed in 2019.
The work will be undertaken by Flatiron, SNC-Lavalin and Dragados. Equity finance will be provided by Hochtief PPP Solutions, SNC-Lavalin Capital and ACS Infrastructure Canada.
The consortium will recoup some of their investment by operating a toll system on the bridge.
The existing Champlain Bridge, built in 1962, is one of the most heavily-used in Canada, with 40 to 60 million vehicles crossing every year.
Flatiron is the US subsidiary of Hochtief, and Hochtief is controlled by the Madrid-based contractor Grupo ACS, which also owns Dragados.
The bridge was designed by US consultant engineers TY Lin International and International Bridge Technologies, and Canadian professional services firm MMM Group.
Flatiron and Dragados were part of a consortium that won a $1.2bn deal to build a section of California’s high-speed rail line earlier this month.