February 15, 2019 by David Kennedy
VANCOUVER—The British Columbia ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has narrowed the field of bidders for a major bridge project in Metro Vancouver to three consortia.
The design-build-finance contract for the new Pattullo Bridge that will replace an existing span of the same name between Surrey and New Westminster, B.C. is worth $1.37 billion. The winning bidder will be responsible for designing and building the four-lane crossing, as well as for the removal of the old Pattullo Bridge, which is now more than 80-years-old.
“The existing Pattullo Bridge is nearing the end of its useful life,” said Claire Trevena, the province’s minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The selection of the three teams gets us closer to breaking ground on this project.”
The three construction teams are:
The province is using its new, and controversial, Community Benefits Agreement to deliver the project.
As the province issued the RFP, Paul de Jong, the president of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) again slammed the new framework.
“B.C.’s so-called Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) doesn’t pass even the most basic litmus test for good public policy,” he said in a statement. “It was not designed to serve or protect the public interest. Instead, it’s a cynical scheme that allows Horgan’s [Building Trades Unions] supporters to monopolize public construction projects at taxpayers’ expense.”
De Jong added the CMA will add $100 million to the price tag of the Pattullo Bridge project alone. The NDP government, meanwhile, has argued the agreement will support training and increase participating in construction from underrepresented groups.
Construction on the new bridge is expected to start this year. It’s scheduled to open to traffic in 2023.