Valley Line West: The Year Ahead

On Monday, February 11, Administration briefed Executive Committee on its plan to procure, or hire, the team that will bring Light Rail Transit (LRT) to west Edmonton by building the Valley Line extension from downtown to Lewis Farms.

Over the past year and a half, the City evaluated different delivery options for the Valley Line West LRT project in preparation for procurement and landed on the preferred design-build-finance-vehicle (DBFV) delivery approach. With provincial funding in place and federal funding anticipated soon, the year-long procurement process for the Valley Line West LRT is expected to begin this spring.

Constructing this 14km line will be no small feat; the selected team will be responsible for building 14 street level stops and two elevated stations, a new transit centre at West Edmonton Mall, a new Light Rail Vehicle storage facility, an expansion of the Gerry Wright Operations and Maintenance Facility , and an expanded Park and Ride at Lewis Farms.

VLW-Lineahead2

The West Edmonton Mall Station and Transit Centre

The City wants to ensure that riders will have a seamless experience on the Valley Line even though it is being built in two stages. The contract approach on the Valley Line West—a design-build with partial financing and vehicles—will best position the City to deliver this seamless experience, whether you get on the train in Lewis Farms, Mill Woods or anywhere in between. It will also provide the best value for Edmonton taxpayers.

Unlike the Public Private Partnership (P3) approach on the Valley Line Southeast, the DBFV approach on the Valley Line West does not include an operations and maintenance component. Our 18-month long evaluation determined that it’s best to procure operations and maintenance for the Valley Line West later during construction when the southeast leg is in service.

Procurement is the process the City uses to fairly contract vendors for goods and services. The rigorous and competitive process includes a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) stage and Request for Proposals (RFP) stage.

  • In the RFQ Stage, experienced private sector participants form teams and submit a qualification-based proposal outlining their experience and strengths to deliver the Valley Line West LRT project. The City will then issue a Request for Proposals to the three most qualified bidding teams at the end of this process.
  • In the RFP Stage, the shortlisted teams will be required to submit several technical submissions, which are evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Once proponents have passed the technical submissions, they will be asked to provide a fixed-price submission. The team with the lowest compliant price will be selected to enter into a contract to deliver the project.

Copy of VLW-PE-REN-20180912-87 Ave Guideway-Final (1)

Elevated guideway on 87 Avenue

Once the selected team has signed the contract, currently scheduled for early 2020, it’s anticipated that it will take five to six years to complete construction of the line.

Monday’s report to the Executive Committee is available to the public on the February 11 agenda. Next, the report will be read at City Council for approval on February 26.

The City is committed to communicating with Edmontonians about procurement for Valley Line West—its milestones and progress—and has developed an Accountability, Transparency and Disclosure Framework to support these efforts. The framework is available as an attachment along with the Council report.

To learn more about Valley Line West, visit edmonton.ca/valleylinewest.

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About the Author
Jennifer Villeneuve
Jennifer Villeneuve is a communications coordinator with the LRT Design and Construction Branch.
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