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Winnipeg’s Southwest Transitway – Navigating the P3 Procurement Process


Stage 1 of the Southwest Transitway, the initial phase of the City of Winnipeg’s rapid transit network, opened for service in April 2012 providing fast, frequent, reliable service without transfer for most passengers travelling between the southwest part of the City and downtown. The City’s next rapid transit project, Stage 2 of the Southwest Transitway, will extend the transitway southerly to the University of Manitoba. The Southwest Rapid Transitway (Stage 2) and Pembina Highway Underpass Project (SWT2) includes the construction of 7.6 km of exclusive transitway runningway and active transportation paths; six transitway and three rail structures; a noise attenuation wall; two land drainage pump stations; eight rapid transit stations; park and ride facilities; extensive utility and rail relocation works; and reconstruction and widening of the Pembina Highway Underpass.

Advancing SWT2 from functional design to construction required the collaboration of engineering
specialists, procurement lawyers, and financial advisors. This paper focuses on the engineering aspect of 1) the preparation of the business case and value for money assessment (VFM) for a PPP Canada
funding application; 2) preparation and evaluation of the request for qualification (RFQ); 3) preparation and evaluation of the Request for Proposal (RFP), and 4) finalization of the project agreement (PA) for SWT2.
The business case and VFM assessment compared a Design, Build, Finance, (operate), and Maintain (P3) procurement against a traditional Design-Bid-Build approach. The engineering aspect for this process included preparation of detailed capital cost estimates. Due to the nature of SWT2, PPP Canada’s Schematic Estimate Guide was not directly applicable (typically used for vertical infrastructure) so a modified costing format was developed.
Following confirmation of the P3 procurement method and project funding, an RFQ was issued that prequalified three Proponents. The RFP issued to the Proponents was separated into two main parts: 1) RFP (bidding instructions); and 2) PA (project contract) that detailed the terms of the project delivery. Engineering services provided during the RFP open period included Proponent requests for information, participation in commercially confidential design meetings, modifying the PA to facilitate Proponent innovations, and assistance in the evaluation of technical submissions.
The Government of Canada is contributing up to $91.2 million through the PPP Canada Fund while the Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg will contribute the balance of the Project costs. At a cost estimate of $467.3 million, this is the largest infrastructure investment undertaken by the City of Winnipeg to date.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Investing in Road Construction: Building Canada’s Economy
Peters, T.
Taylor, R.
Cooper, C.
Construction, Maintenance and operations