There is major progress to report on the fast developing Valley Line LRT project.
This week, another major milestone was reached when it was announced that three teams have been shortlisted to participate in the next stage of the competitive selection process of the Valley Line Public Private Partnership (P3).
The Valley Line is a new modern low-floor urban style LRT system that will travel 13 km between Downtown and Mill Woods. It will feature 12 new stations. The system is being designed to help revitalize the downtown core, connect job centers and shape growth.
The following teams have been invited to reply to a Request for Proposals (RFP) and submit a bid to design, build, operate, maintain and partially finance the new line:
The RFP is expected to be released in mid-September. Following its release, the three proponent teams will spend approximately 12 months preparing their proposals. One of these teams will become the City’s private partner to transform the vision for an LRT extension to Mill Woods into a reality.
This project will be the largest in the City’s history, and has already been years in the making. Let’s take a look back at what’s been accomplished, what’s happening now, and where we’re headed.
2009-2012: Concept Planning
The City worked through a public engagement process to help define the major features of the Valley Line (Southeast to West LRT), including:
The concept plan was approved by City Council. A detailed history of the concept planning process is available here.
2011-2013: Preliminary Design
The City did a more detailed analysis of how the LRT would operate, and how the system would integrate into the existing/planned transportation network and adjacent communities. Public engagement was a critical part of this process. Edmontonians had input and heard progress on:
The Environmental Impact Screening Assessment (EISA) was approved by City Council during this phase of the project.
A detailed history of preliminary design is available here.
March 2014 – Funding Announced
Following a public advocacy campaign led by Mayor Don Iveson, the city was able to confirm the additional funding required to launch construction of the Valley Line. Both the Federal and Provincial governments provided grants and/or special interest free loans and on April 15, 2014 Edmonton City Council gave the green launch to launch the project.
Spring 2014: Procurement Begins
With full funding in place, the City was able to move into the official procurement phase for the Valley Line. The first step was to release a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on April 23, 2014 . Since then, interested private companies formed five teams, and submitted their qualifications on June 17, 2014to design, construct, operate and maintain and finance the Valley Line.
Summer 2014: Shortlisted Teams Invited to Participate in RFP
Teams were evaluated against the RFQ, and a short list has been invited to submit formal proposals for the Valley Line project.
Fall 2014: RFP Documents Released
The next step in the RFP phase will be the release of RFP documents to the three shortlisted teams this fall
Fall 2014-end of 2015: RFP Phase
The RFP phase will last 12-15 months, and the qualified consortium will use this time to prepare their proposals for design and construction, proposed Light Rail Vehicle, Sustainable Urban Integration vision, operating and maintenance, and financing. All of these elements must meet the criteria established by the City. Teams will submit final bids to the City in the Fall of 2015. The team that meets all of the City’s requirements with the lowest net present value cost will be the successful Proponent and will become the city’s long term partner in the Valley Line.
Accountability, Transparency and Disclosure.
While the Valley Line LRT project is the City of Edmonton’s first P3 project, may other P3 projects have been implemented across Canada and there is a growing record of best practices for accountability and transparency from other cities and provinces.
These best practices were studied by the City and the administration has adopted a framework to ensure the project operates in a way that makes it easy for others to see what actions are performed and the information that will be shared.
In addition to sharing the Valley Line LRT RFP with the public, Edmontonians will also be invited to submit any questions through their councillors.
A project agreement will be finalized with the successful team by the end of 2015 so that major construction can begin in 2016.
Construction is set for completion in 2020.
For more information on the Valley Line, visit: www.edmonton.ca/valleyline.