Green Line board names development partner for LRT megaproject's 1st phase
Calgary's Green Line board named its partner Friday for the first phase of the $5.5-billion LRT megaproject.
Bow Transit Connectors (BTC) will design, construct and finance Phase 1 of the project, which is the 18-kilometre stretch between Shepard and Eau Claire.
The first phase of the project will have 13 stations, including four underground stops downtown and two elevated stations in the southeast.
Green Line CEO Darshpreet Bhatti said the companies that make up BTC — Barnard Constructors of Canada LP, Flatiron Constructors Canada Ltd. and WSP Canada Inc. — bring extensive experience with underground construction, above ground construction and LRT design.
Bhatti said picking a development partner marks an important milestone for the multibillion-dollar project.
"This sets the tone for the next step, which is really progressing design, understanding risks, establishing a schedule and costs," he said.
That next step, the development phase, will take up to 16 months to complete before a project agreement is signed, the city said in a statement Friday.
The city's partnership with BTC doesn't mean local contractors and consultants will be shut out of the work, Bhatti said.
"We actively know that they're having discussions with many local subcontractors right now," he said.
The city's statement said BTC has already proposed a number of local subconsultants, which include Platinum Engineering Ltd., Egis, IBI and GEC Architecture.
"As additional agreements are finalized with the local contracting community, Green Line will share updates about the teams who will work with us through both the development and implementation phases," the city said.
Construction of the first phase of the Green Line is slated to begin in about 16 months. The Green Line could be operational by 2030.
The first phase of the Green Line is the longest LRT project and the largest infrastructure investment in Calgary's history. Nearly 20,000 jobs are expected to be created during the construction process.
As for the second phase of the project, the Green Line board isn't focusing on that quite yet.
The board is waiting to see how costs and other issues play out during the first phase before making decisions on timing and direction for the second phase. Phase 2 aims to connect Eau Claire and 16th Avenue N. in Crescent Heights.
So far, Calgary has already committed more than $900 million to the Green Line project.
The money has been used to acquire land, hire staff, contract design and engineering work and do enabling works to ease the construction process.