IO Market Update highlights construction projects worth $35 billion

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

Infrastructure Ontario’s first Market Update of 2023 highlights 38 projects in pre-procurement and active procurement totalling more than $35 billion in design and construction costs.

The March Update detailed progress since November 2022 and includes 16 government-announced projects in the initial stages of planning, for which scope, timing and delivery models are still being determined.

Three projects have advanced to partnership stages:

  • Scarborough Subway Extension – Stations, Rail and Systems – Development Partner Agreement signed
  • Weeneebayko Area Health Authority – Health Campus – Development Partner Agreement signed
  • Niagara Health’s New South Niagara Hospital Project – Financial Close/Contract signed

Also, procurements have launched within the past three months for:

  • Garden City Skyway
  • Ottawa Hospital’s New Civic Redevelopment

The opening of the Highway 401 expansion through Mississauga and Milton was a highlight in the latest report, as well as reaching substantial completion of the New Toronto Courthouse.

The total value of contracts currently in construction across Ontario is about $45 billion, not including the additional contracted value to ensure the long-term operations and maintenance of assets on projects such as Metrolinx GO Rail expansions, maintenance of assets on projects such as Metrolinx GO Rail Expansion On-Corridor works.

“The construction sector around the globe is experiencing many changes and challenges,” the report stated. “IO is continuing to lead and execute through (and despite) challenging times.”

To adapt to new realities, IO has:

  • had to work closely with government to ensure that project cost estimates are appropriately updated.
  • continued to work with industry partners to manage any escalations during active procurements – and we have introduced indexing mechanisms on our major transit projects to do precisely this.
  • continued to be very careful regarding the staging of our projects – so that both we and the market have the capacity to deliver.
  • ensured projects put to market are ready to be procured – with relevant details regarding scope and readiness that lead to positive technical and commercial discussions.
  • Continued to examine and update contracting approach to address the changing market dynamics, the feedback we are hearing from you, and in view of the increasingly complex projects we are delivering.
  • We take very seriously our commitment to the market to maintain a dependable pipeline which is appropriately staged to maximize opportunity and competition. Infrastructure Ontario continues to demonstrate our unwavering focus on progress and delivering on our commitments,” states the report.

“As we look forward, we now face escalating inflationary costs not seen in a generation. We have had to work closely with government to ensure that project cost estimates are appropriately updated. We continue to work with industry partners to manage any escalations during active procurements.”

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