B.C. government announces who will design, build, and partially finance Broadway Subway Project

This time, SNC-Lavalin Inc. is not going to play a role

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      The most expensive infrastructure project in Vancouver history has moved one step closer to being developed.

      Today, the B.C. government announced that a preferred proponent team has been chosen to design, build, and partially finance the $2.83-billion Broadway Subway Project.

      It's a 5.7-kilometre westward extension of the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street.

      According to a government news release, the Acciona-Ghella Joint Venture will enter into final contract negotiations with the Transportation Investment Corporation. 

      The TIC is a subsidiary of the B.C. Transportation Financing Authority.

      Mount Pleasant Station will be on the southwest corner of East Broadway and Main Street.

      SNC-Lavalin not on finalist's list

      The Acciona-Ghella Joint Venture includes the following companies:

      • Proponent: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc./Ghella Canada Ltd.
      • Design-build contractor: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc./Ghella Canada Ltd.
      • Design contractor: IBI Group Professional Services (Canada) Inc./Dialog BC Architecture Engineering Interior Design Planning Inc./Mott MacDonald Canada Ltd./Ingenieria Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial, S.A.
      • Systems integration contractor: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc./Ghella Canada Ltd./Parsons Inc.
      • Tunnel contractor: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc./Ghella Canada Ltd.

      Montreal-based engineering giant SNC-Lavalin Group has been a key player in four previous rapid-transit projects in Metro Vancouver.

      SNC-Lavalin is a key partner in InTransit B.C., which built and operates the Canada Line. It also headed the consortium that developed the Evergreen Extension.

      In addition, SNC-Lavalin took over the company that completed the Expo Line. And it was part of the team behind development of the Millennium Line.

      However, its name does not appear on the list of companies released today. 

      Four SNC-Lavalin companies were all part of West 9th Partners, which was one of three finalists.

      In December, SNC-Lavalin Construction Inc., a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud in connection with a bribery scandal in Libya from 2001 to 2011.

      It paid a $280-million fine and was subject to a three-year probation order.

      The other losing proponent was Broadway Connect, which included Dragados Canada Inc,  Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc, Aecon Concessions, and Aecon Group.

      Construction of the Broadway Subway Project is expected to begin later this year and will start carrying passengers in 2025.

      Fairview VGH-Station will provide easy access to Vancouver General Hospital and the central section of the Broadway Corridor.

      Separate owners of two new SkyTrain lines

      The Broadway Subway Project is one of two large rapid-transit projects being built in Metro Vancouver.

      The other is the first phase of the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project. It will be built from King George Station alongside the Fraser Highway to 166 Street in the Fleetwood area of Surrey.

      The first phase of that project is expected to cost $1.6 billion, with the final bill after the second phase tagged at $3.1 billion.

      Even though the federal and provincial governments have provided funding to ensure that both projects can be built, they will each have separate owners.

      The province will be liable for cost overruns on the Broadway Subway Project.

      TransLink will be on the hook if there are cost overruns on the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project.

      The funding deal for the Broadway Subway Project came together in September 2018, prompting the key decision makers (then Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, Justin Trudeau, then Surrey mayor Linda Hepner, Premier John Horgan, and TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond) to get on a transit vehicle for a photo-op.
      John Horgan