SSL will operate and maintain the bridge for the duration of the concession period until October 2049. SSL has entered into a date-certain, fixed-priced contract of approximately CAD$2.15 billion (US$1.75 billion) with a construction joint venture. In addition SSL has close financing for the project.
SSL is composed of SNC-Lavalin Capital Inc., ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., Hochtief PPP Solutions North America, Inc., SNC-Lavalin Major Projects Inc., Dragados Canada, Inc., Flatiron Construction Canada Limited, SNC-Lavalin Inc., MMM Group Limited, TY Lin International, and International Bridge Technologies Canada Inc.
The existing Champlain Bridge, built in 1962, is one of the most heavily-used bridges in Canada. It is one of the busiest crossings in the country for about 40 to 60 million cars, trucks and buses a year, and is a critical passageway for the regional and Canadian economies. As well, over 11 million transit users travel across it annually. In terms of Canada-US trade, more than CAD$20 billion in cross-border goods pass through this trade corridor each year.
The new crossing will include not only a new bridge across the St. Lawrence River, but also a new smaller bridge for Île-des-Soeurs (Nun's Island). In addition, the federal portion of Autoroute 15 is to be reconstructed and widened. Autoroute 15 will also be reconstructed on the Île-des-Soeurs Bridge. Furthermore, the project calls for the operation and maintenance of the new Champlain Bridge Corridor and related tolling infrastructure as well as the federal section of the Bonaventure Expressway.
Ian L. Edwards, Executive Vice-President, Infrastructure Sector, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, stated:
"We are honoured that the Government of Canada has entrusted us with this important project. Cities around the world can be identified by their bridges, and we will proudly contribute our expertise to deliver a safe, reliable and sustainable bridge that will remain an iconic landmark for generations to come."
Marcelino Fernández Verdes, CEO of Hochtief, commented:
"Construction of this new bridge in such a prominent location is currently one of the most important PPP projects in North America. We will be tackling this challenge with our bundled competence and experience."
The new bridge should be completed at the end of 2018 while the remaining parts of the overall route, a total of around eight kilometers, should be finished by the end of 2019. Once the new bridge is completed, the project company will operate the route for 30 years, including a toll system.
Throughout the last month we have reported on several transport PPP projects in North America: