Infrastructure Ontario has issued an update on its various projects in procurement. I have been tracking the transit projects for some time, and the table linked below shows how they have evolved.
My last article on the subject was for the January 2022 update, but I skipped May because so little had changed. This article (and the table) reflect changes in the May and November bulletins.
Updated Nov 22/22 at 7:20 pm: The status tracking table has been updated to correct the date for the Ontario Line Pape Tunnel project.
IO Status Tracking November 2022
Some of the changes in this update are quite substantial.
The North Civil, Stations and Tunnel contract previously included both the tunnel segment from Gerrard north to the Don River, the bridge over the river, and the elevated structure north to Eglinton. This has now been split into two separate contracts.
- Elevated Guideway and Stations
- Pape Tunnel and Underground Stations
Each of these projects is shown with an estimated cost of $1-2 billion, compared to $3 billion for the combined version.
In May 2022, the North Civil contract execution date was July-Sept 2024.
The Elevated Guideway and Stations contract is now shown in two stages with the Development Phase Agreement (DPA) in Jan-Mar 2024 and the Project Agreement (PA) in Jan-March 2025.
The Pape Tunnel and Underground Stations contract is now shown with a DPA of Jan-Mar 2024 and a PA in July-Sept 2026. [Corrected]
There is no indication of the effect these changes will have on the opening date.
The Rolling Stock, System Operations and Maintenance (RSSOM) contract was awarded in November 2022. In previous updates it was estimated at “>$2B” (greater than $2 billion), but was awarded at a value of $9 billion.
The South Civil, Stations and Tunnel contract was also awarded in November 2022, In previous updates it was estimated at “>$4B”, but was awarded at a value of $6 billion.
Line 2 (Scarborough) Subway Extension
The Stations, Railway and Systems contract project agreement (PA) date was previously cited as Jan-Mar 2024, but this has been changed to July-Sept 2024.
The tunnel contract was awarded in May 2021 and is already underway.
Line 1 (Yonge North) Subway Extension
The tunnel contract Request for Qualifications issue date has slipped from Jan-Mar 2022 in the January 2022 update to Jan-Mar 2023 in the November update. For some reason, the estimated cost has gone down from $2-4 billion to $1-2 billion. I have asked Infrastructure Ontario to clarify this.
The Request for Proposal issue date was supposed to be Jul-Sept 2022, but is now Apr-June 2023.
Contract execution has slipped from July-Sept 2023 to Apr-June 2024. It is not clear what effect this will have on the planned opening date.
Eglinton-Crosstown West Extension
This project has four components:
- The tunnel contract for the segment from Renforth to Scarlett was awarded in May 2021.
- The tunnel contract for the segment from Jane to Mount Dennis closed its RFP process in November 2022. Award is expected in Jan-Mar 2023.
- The elevated structure between the two tunnels is in a separate contract now at the RFQ stage.
- The Stations, Railway and System contract has not been issued yet.
Lines In Planning
Three lines are in the planning stage only with one added in the May 2022 update:
- Line 4 (Sheppard East) Subway Extension
- Hamilton LRT
- Eglinton West Crosstown Airport Segment (new in May 2022)
All of the contracts for the expansion program have now been awarded, and they will not appear in the IO updates.
Forgive my lack of knowledge, but where do other non rail projects, like the Durham BRT project fall (it’s not a p3 and doesn’t look like IO)? I believe Pickering has already begun utility relocation but I don’t see updates on the Metrolinx site (afaik it’s funded by 3 levels, feds, province, and city/region).
Steve: If it isn’t a P3, it doesn’t go through Infrastructure Ontario and therefore does not appear in their list.
Please correct this to July – September 2026 as per the Market Update released this morning.
Steve: Thank you for catching this. I copied the months over from the previous entry. I have updated the table and the text in the article.
Your line “The tunnel contract for the segment from Jane to Mount Dennis closed its RFP process in November 2022. Award is expected in Jan-Mar 2023.”
The RFP process ended April 2022 not November 2022. Please correct this.
Steve: Sorry but you’re wrong on this. The full entry from the market update for this chunk of the project has an RFQ issue date of December 2021, and an RFP issue date of April 2022. Contract execution is in Jan-Mar 2023. The RFP closed on November 16 according to this news item on the IO website.
Where did you get this information from?
It is no where to be found on the marketplace update.
Steve: It is on the IO page for the Jane to Mount Dennis contract.
The airport segment was previously included in the Market report of May 2022 so its not technically new for the November one. Please fix.
Are you sure you’re comparing apples to apples with the RSSOM contract? $2B before compared to $9B now. The $2B was likely capital only while the $9B includes the 30 year O&M contract. The bulk of that contact is O&M.
Steve: I am using Infrastructure Ontario’s numbers. The difference is probably explained as you describe, but the “OM” in “RSSOM” is for Ops and Maintenance. Just a teensy weensy underestimate.
Minor comment – for Scarborough Subway Extension, it mentions Stations, Railway and Signals contract, but it’s “Stations, Rail and Systems” contract.
Steve: I will fix this. Thanks for catching it.
Do you (or any of your readers) have any insight on the Eglinton West Crosstown Airport Segment, namely the routing at Pearson?
Should we expect Pearson Airport to (re)announce their growth plans for the airport? Is the rerouting of the Kitchener Line to the airport (a concept that was shown in photos when the airport announced their “Union Station West” plans) dead or is something similar likely to happen?
Steve: I have given up waiting for something definitive on this. The airport authority’s fantasies about its role in the universe runs headlong into a failure to understand that “the airport district” is not just about the passenger terminal.
Currently at Pearson Airport, you can park your car, truck, or moving van that you use to pick up your friends’, relatives’, or associates’ luggage and entourage at the FREE cell phone parking lot. Once you get the call to pick them up at the arrivals level, you are just 5 minutes away to do so.
However, that location is also where the new Pearson Transit Hub and where the Eglinton West airport extension station will be. Hopefully, there will be an alternative location once construction of the Pearson Transit Hub starts.
Set your Waze to 6145 Network Rd, Mississauga, ON L4V to get to it.
I wonder just how much $$$$ there are for contract cancellations, as there’s a strong sense that the taxpayer/chitizen would be better off overall if we didn’t go ahead with many of these big projects, where the intent is to bury transit for the benefit of car drivers and to torque destinations for developments, or that’s sure the feel. It’s regrettable as we do need to spend larger; but many of these simply aren’t good enough value eg. OL at a billion/km.
Do you expect any movement or any updates on the projects that are in planning anytime soon or will they just stay in planning until the next election?
Steve: I don’t expect to see much on these with the possible exception of Hamilton for a while. With project budgets swelling, Ontario is creating big problems down the road when the bills come due.
CP24 is now describing the Ontario Line as way overbudget. What was supposed to be a cheap $10.9 bn plan is now already at $15bn, with possibly $4bn more in contracts to come, so it’ll be over $1bn per km. That this sort of overspend could slip through unnoticed is ridiculous. They need to fire the auditor-general (as well as Verster and Mulroney).
Steve: The Auditor-General has not gone through Metrolinx’ books in a few years. It is not their job to monitor works in progress or the escalation of contract pricing until after the fact. Verster and Mulroney, not to mention the Minister of Infrastructure Surma, and Ford himself.
Jheez, hopefully the cost of the NST project won’t skyrocket overnight like the OL did. Given that the province is fully responsible for funding the OL (correct me if I’m wrong on this), does this cost increase mean the province may not be able to fulfill their funding commitment for both projects (the OL and the 1/3 cost of the NST), once again throwing a monkey wrench over the timely delivery of both?
Steve: A chunk of that increase is, I think, the future operating cost portion of the contract which would be paid out over an extended period, and some of it might even be charged back to Toronto like the opex on Eglinton and Finch West.
If the contracts include inflated OpEx figures that will be charged back to Toronto, then John Tory is the greatest rube in the city (well, besides the citizens of Toronto, who voted him in). In that CP24 article, he was bragging about how Toronto doesn’t have to pay anything for cost overruns since it’s all provincial jurisdiction, not realizing that the province is going to make the city pay for it all later. Of course, he’ll be gone from government by then, and the city will have to jack up taxes to pay for his 12 years of austerity, plus all these deferred expenses. It’s also great that instead of taking out loans when interest rates were low to build shovel ready projects like the DRL, which would have been discounted later on due to inflation, the government delayed things so much that we now need to take out loans at inflated interest rates at post-inflation construction prices to build these alternate lines instead.