“Robust pipeline” of social and civil infrastructure projects outlined
Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) has reported the provincial government will be investing $11.9 billion in projects within 2015-06, as part of an what it says is the government’s overall commitment to invest more than $130 billion in infrastructure over the next 10 years.
“The 2015 Infrastructure Ontario (IO) Market Update confirms a robust pipeline of social and civil infrastructure projects using Alternative Financing and Procurement, IO president and CEO Bert Clark said in his spring market update. “In addition, the Market Update shows the Government of Ontario is investing in new direct delivery projects and new real estate capital repair initiatives.”
The AFP project pipeline includes projects with a total capital value estimated at $7.55 billion, Clark said in his letter.
“This includes social infrastructure projects such as a new courthouse in Toronto in co-operation with the Ministry of the Attorney General and new Ontario Provincial Police detachments in various locations in cooperation with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. New health care facilities will move forward in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, including the Mackenzie Health facility in Vaughan.”
Transit and transportation projects include the Highway 427 expansion, Highway 401 High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, and Hurontario and Finch LRTs, as well as the major Eglington Crosstown project.
“Building on our strong relationships with municipalities such as the Region of Waterloo and City of Ottawa, IO has been engaged by the City of Toronto to develop business cases and procurement options for the Gardiner Expressway Rehabilitation and Scarborough Subway projects for City Council’s consideration,” Clark wrote.
Transit-oriented development initiatives, such as the GO Port Credit station redevelopment and the Waterloo Region transit hub, are opportunities for IO to work with clients to leverage the benefits of new transit and transportation investments.
“In addition, IO continues to collaborate with PPP Canada to demonstrate the business cases for future AFP projects. The recently announced federal transit fund focuses on partnerships with the private sector to deliver public infrastructure and could be an opportunity to advance AFP transit projects over the long term.”
He wrote that 36 of 37 projects reaching substantial completion have been on budget and the majority were on time. These include nine projects completed in 2014-15, with construction starting on 14 projects.
“Enhancements and refinements to AFP have been introduced including local knowledge, health and safety requirements with the Certificate of Recognition Program, and a pilot project approach to encourage apprentices on projects,” Clark wrote.
“In addition, IO will release a new Value for Money Guide that reflects the professional advice of external advisors, best practices, and IO’s 10 years of experience using AFP.
“Based on direction from the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI), a new $100 million threshold will be used by Ministries and IO to assess new projects not yet assigned for AFP delivery, although the government will maintain flexibility to assess complex projects under $100 million on a case by case basis.
“Furthermore, IO, directed by MEDEI, will make prudent adjustments to progress and substantial completion payments in order to reduce long-term financing costs without reducing the transfer of risks to the private sector. IO and MEDEI are working to implement all recommendations from the Auditor General’s 2014 annual report and will continue to strike a balance in determining which complex projects are suited for AFP and how much private finance is required to protect the government from risk.
Clark wrote that IO is advancing the Ontario Place Urban Park and Waterfront Trail project as part of the long-term vision for Ontario Place and is cooperating with the City of Mississauga regarding the OPG Lakeview site. Also, consistent with broader efforts regarding assets, IO will continue to implement the Government of Ontario’s vision for the Seaton Lands in Durham Region and pursue transactions that maximize the return on high value assets such as the OPG Headquarters. The LCBO Headquarters land disposition continues on track and will deliver positive returns to the government.
“In 2014, IO made significant advances in how it partners with the private sector to manage and maintain the portfolio of government assets through a new Project Management Service Provider contract. Capital repair projects are now being implemented in partnership with our real estate Vendor of Record members that are across all regions and various specializations. IO will put out an estimated $70 million in new capital repair projects this year as part of the estimated $250 million worth of projects managed each year.
IO’s real estate expertise has created the potential for direct delivery projects using traditional methods. Through competitive procurements, IO anticipates bringing to market an estimated six direct delivery projects this year. All of these projects are opportunities for companies of various sizes from across the province to partner with IO.”