On-Site Magazine

Toronto opts for P3 model to rehab Gardiner Expressway


Asphalt Bridges Concrete Construction Financing Infrastructure P3s Roads

Project worth an estimated $3.8 billion

The City of Toronto has approved a proposal to pursue a public-private partnership solution to rehabilitate the aging and crumbling Gardiner Expressway.

According to a city staff report approved by council, the total capital cost estimate for the construction portion (excluding operations and maintenance, and lifecycle maintenance) of the Revised Rehabilitation Plan is $2.6 billion. The 30-year total cost jumps to $3.8 billion when long-term maintenance is included. The city will maintain ownership of the expressway.

Some of the project details include:

  • The rehabilitation of the Expressway, extending from Highway 427 to the eastern limit at Logan Avenue including the 11 km at grade section from Hwy 427 to Dufferin Street with its 32 bridges and structures, and the 7 km elevated section from Dufferin Street to Logan Avenue with 335 spans.
  • Incorporates the change of scope for the rehabilitation of the Gardiner Expressway east of Jarvis Street based on the future outcome of the Environmental Assessment

The AFP procurement approach enables the project to qualify for up to one-third funding through Federal programs (P3 Canada Fund and the New Building Canada Fund) subject to the submission of successful business case applications and could bring in up to $820 million in additional funding, according to the report.


A Value for Money Analysis has indicated that an AFP procurement would save the City at least 16 per cent or an estimated $500 million over a 30-year rehabilitation and maintenance period contract, and could reduce the construction time involving lane restrictions from 12 years to as little as six years, when compared to the results expected using a traditional multi-phased procurement approach.

The report recommends retaining Infrastructure Ontario (IO) to support the City as the procurement lead in the AFP approach based on the quality of advice and assistance received to date, combined with IO’s extensive experience in procuring and managing large-scale infrastructure projects using the AFP model

Currently, almost all (over 90 per cent) of the maintenance work on the Gardiner is already contracted out, including resurfacing, line-striping, guard rail repairs, and salting and snow clearing operations.


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