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$1.42 billion north Edmonton ring road project now underway

EDMONTON, Alta. -- The construction of a 21-kilometre "north leg" section of Edmonton's ring road is now underway. ...

EDMONTON, Alta. — The construction of a 21-kilometre “north leg” section of Edmonton’s ring road is now underway. The three-year project is expected to improve traffic flow.

“Anthony Henday Drive Northwest will significantly improve traffic in Edmonton’s north end, when it opens in 2011,” said Minister of Transportation Luke Ouellette. “Using the made-in-Alberta P3 highway solution will mean this roadway is built two years sooner and at a cost savings for Albertans.”

The Alberta government has signed a 30-year contract with the Northwestconnect General Partnership to design, build, operate and partially finance Anthony Henday Drive from Yellowhead Trail on the west side of Edmonton to Manning Drive. This public-private partnership (or P3) project also includes the maintenance of Anthony Henday Drive N.W.

The P3 selection process is based on the net present value (NPV) of the project, or the value of the project in today’s dollars. The Northwestconnect General Partnership had the lowest bid price at $1.42 billion, which includes the cost to design, construct, maintain, and all financing for the project. The Ministry of Alberta says that the cost of doing the same work through traditional delivery methods is estimated at $1.66 billion (NPV) in today’s dollars.

The team members of Northwestconnect include: Bilfinger Berger Project Investments, Flatiron Constructors Canada, Parsons Overseas Company of Canada, Graham Infrastructure, aJV, and Carmacks Maintenance Services.

The Alberta government will advance $500 million during construction and then start payments over the 30 years to Northwestconnect General Partnership, once the Anthony Drive N.W. opens to traffic. The 21-kilometre north leg of the ring road will be free-flow with no signal lights and will include eight interchanges, five flyovers, and two rail crossings, for a total of 27 bridge structures.

Anthony Henday Drive N.W. is the third project to use Alberta’s P3 procurement model for highways. The arrangement was used to build the southeast leg of Anthony Henday Drive. It is also being used to complete the northeast leg of Calgary’s ring road, which will open to traffic in the fall of 2009.

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