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Quebec highway another step closer to completion (July 16, 2007)

MONTREAL, Que. -- The Quebec government took a major step towards the provinces selection of a private partner for...


MONTREAL, Que. — The Quebec government took a major step towards the provinces selection of a private partner for the completion of Hwy 30, narrowing the field of candidates to three.

The request for proposals is the second step in the private-partner selection process, and will lead to the signing of a partnership agreement. The selection process is a joint initiative by Transport Quebec and Partenariats public-priv Qubec; however, Transport Quebec is the prime contractor for the entire project.

The three qualified candidates will now submit proposals that meet the technical and financial requirements for the completion of the western section of Hwy 30.

The highlights of the draft partnership agreement are: a draft 35-year agreement for the design, construction, financing, operation, maintenance and repair of the infrastructure; risk and responsibility sharing, including where the private partner would assume the risks of cost overruns and schedule delays; compensation for the private partners construction, capital, operation, maintenance and repair expenses, as well as money from tolls; and additional sections that the private partner could finance, operate, maintain and repair.

In the next few weeks, Transport Quebec will release a document outlining its technical and administrative requirements and its performance criteria for completing and operating the infrastructure. Moreover, Transport Quebec will ensure that the private partner fulfills all its service delivery requirements for the duration of the agreement. In the event of non-compliance, compensation for the private partners capital, operation, maintenance and repair expenses may be reduced.

The private partner will be responsible for complying with the conditions set out in the environmental orders for the completion of Hwy 30 and for implementing the mitigation and compensation measures provided for in these environmental orders and in the federal environmental assessment.

The three qualified candidates will have until March 26, 2008 to submit their detailed technical proposals and until May 7, 2008 to submit their financial proposals. The successful candidate should be announced on June 18, 2008.

Tolls were initially planned for the entire western section, but now will be collected only on the bridge spanning the St. Lawrence River, between Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and Vaudreuil-Dorion.

This measure will help optimize traffic flow and ensure that Montrgie residents using local roads and drivers using the highway between Chteauguay and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield will not pay any tolls.


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