A 500-km (311-mi) long transmission line boosting power to northeastern Alberta and an Ontario university student housing project are among the winners of this year’s National Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships from The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP).
The five infrastructure projects were selected for breaking new ground in how public-private partnerships (P3s) are built or financed, as well as their impact on boosting the economy, saving costs, and creating more vibrant, inclusive communities.
“These projects represent the hard work and dedication of thousands of people across Canada who are making these critically important infrastructure projects a reality. Their exceptional leadership and innovative thinking are what continues to distinguish the Canadian P3 model as globally best-in-class,” said Mark Romoff, CEO of CCPPP.
The Fort McMurray West 500 kV Transmission Project won the gold award for project financing. This power project will increase the capacity and overall reliability of Alberta’s transmission system to meet booming demand in the Fort McMurray area when it becomes operational in 2019.
The awards committee commended the project’s use of a “unique funding competition that took place after the route for the transmission line was finalized and regulatory approval had been granted, resulting in significant savings for the public.”
The City of Saskatoon’s North Commuter Parkway & Traffic Bridge Project won the gold award in the infrastructure category. The new, six-lane bridge on the parkway pays tribute to Chief Mistawasis, the Cree Chief who signed Treaty 6, while the modern steel-truss structure of the rehabilitated traffic bridge uses complex engineering to preserve its historical character while meeting today’s safety standards. The project is the largest infrastructure project ever delivered in the City of Saskatoon and the first bundled transportation P3 in Canada.
“The city and consortium worked closely together to ensure community engagement, manage artifact recovery, and accelerate approvals. The project bundling helped to significantly lower costs for residents and improve traffic in a bustling part of the city.”
The project’s cost savings by using the P3 delivery model are estimated at $69.4 million, compared to conventional project procurement.
The Quad, a student housing project at York University, Ont., won a silver award in the service delivery category. The project is among the largest student housing P3 endeavours ever undertaken in Canada and uses a model that freed York from risks associated with capital costs, operations, and maintenance, enabling the university to focus its resources on its academic mission.
Designed with the student in mind, the P3 model has created “a real partnership at York that has resulted in a purpose-built community that provides a live/work/play environment with significant student amenity space. This environment has led to quick improvements in how and where services are provided to the benefit of busy students,” the awards committee said. “The Quad P3 could prove a useful model for similar social housing projects in municipalities and universities across Canada.”
The Milton District Hospital Expansion won a silver award in the infrastructure category. The project was delivered on time and on budget in just 25 months and took place without disrupting essential and life-saving clinical services at the existing hospital building.
“This project is remarkable in how well the community, healthcare staff, and partners worked together to create an integrated hospital that truly put the needs of Milton residents at its core,” said the awards committee.
The Finch West LRT Project won in the project financing category. Under construction in northwestern Toronto, the 11-km (7-mi) light-rail system will have 18 stops to connect commuters and families to local and regional transit services; deliver economic and job creation opportunities; and transform the area into a vibrant community, accessible to motorists, transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians alike.