TPA Chooses Preferred Pedestrian Tunnel P3 Proponent

TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) today announced that it is entering into negotiations with Forum Infrastructure Partners (Forum) to build the public-private partnership pedestrian tunnel to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Over the next 60 days, the TPA will work with Forum to negotiate and finalize the details of the contract related to the pedestrian tunnel.  As is customary with P3 projects, financial and design information will be available upon financial close, expected in late January 2012.

"Our rigorous process has produced bids from three excellent domestic and international proponent groups, all of which have the financial wherewithal to complete the project with no funding from taxpayers. This represents another important milestone as we work to improve access to our popular airport," said TPA Board Chairman Mark McQueen.

The selected proponent is a consortium led by Forum Equity Partners; Developer & Equity Provider, PCL Constructors; Construction Contractor and Canada's largest and most diversified construction firm, Johnson Controls; Facility Manager, a Fortune 100 firm and one of the world's largest facilities managers, Arup; Lead Designer with an international team of designers, including ZAS Architects and Exp geotechnical engineers; Technicore Underground, Tunnelling Contractor with a wealth of tunnelling experience; and Nord/LB, debt capital provider.

Consortium members are successfully delivering a number of P3 projects in Ontario, including the South West Detention Centre, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Mixed-Use Development, Bridgepoint Hospital Redevelopment, and the Humber River Regional Hospital.

Subject to decisions surrounding financial close in the coming months, the TPA expects that construction will start in winter 2012, with a targeted completion date of spring 2014.

Backgrounder

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current budget for the project?

We are still in negotiations with Forum, and will be making information available upon financial close, which is the usual process in a P3 project.

Financial close is expected around the end of January 2012.

What are the passengers numbers for the last several years?

In 2005 we served 28,519 passengers

In 2009, 770,700

In 2010, 1.13 million

In 2011, 1.54 million (estimated)

Who is paying for the pedestrian tunnel project?

The P3 consortium has arranged for 100% of the financing to construct the tunnel.  No taxpayers' dollars are involved in the project.

How many firms bid on the project?

Three different consortia bid on the project.  All three bids were technically compliant and all three bids had financing arranged for the project from domestic and/or international sources.

Do passengers pay for the project cost?

A portion of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport's existing $20 Airport Improvement Fee, which is paid by each departing airline passenger, will be used to pay the annual tunnel concession payment required by the P3 proponent.  As such, over time, 100% of the cost to build, operate and maintain the pedestrian tunnel will be borne by departing Billy Bishop Airport passengers.  At the present time, passengers departing from Toronto Pearson Airport pay a $25 AIF.  The TPA has no plans to increase its current $20 AIF.

How much has the TPA already banked from previous AIF collections?

As of its most recent fiscal quarter, the TPA had accrued approximately $14 million in passenger AIF payments over the past 2+ years.  This sum will be applied to the pedestrian tunnel project to reduce the annual availability payment required by the P3 consortia.

How much money are taxpayers contributing to the project?

Taxpayers are contributing no funds to this project. 

Which governments are contributing cash to the building cost?

No governments are contributing financing towards the cost or upkeep of the BBTCA pedestrian tunnel.

What is a "P3"?

A P3 is a Public-Private Partnership between a government agency and a private business venture.  Typically, the P3 involves a contract between the public and private sector whereby the private sector provides a project and assumes major technical, financial and operational risk of the project.

What about the impact on the environment?

The TPA conducted a thorough Environmental Assessment (EA).  The TPA concluded that the proposed pedestrian/services tunnel and perimeter road project is unlikely to cause significant, adverse environmental effects. The final screening report has been available on the TPA website since April 4, 2011.

The EA, which had been underway for more than a year, was an important part of the tunnel planning process.

The EA found that the proposed pedestrian/services tunnel is unlikely to cause significant, adverse environmental effects. Some minor, localized and short-term construction related effects are expected, and the Report included recommended measures to mitigate these effects. The TPA will ensure that these mitigation measures are implemented, and has included them as requirements in the tunnel RFP.

Although not required for the Project, the TPA also provided reports prepared by RWDI, a renowned air quality expert, which considered the air quality and noise impacts of the Billy Bishop Airport operating at its forecast 202-slot capacity. According to the EA, prepared for the TPA by Dillon Consulting: "RWDI concluded that there would not be significant effects on air quality or noise impacts from the Billy Bishop Airport as the aircraft slots are fully utilized."

What approvals are required for the project to proceed?

All major municipal and federal approvals have been received.

What role does the City of Toronto have in the project?

As per the TPA press release dated July 14, 2011, the City of Toronto has negotiated the right to utilize the tunnel project to upgrade certain City watermains and utility services.  This partnership saves the City and taxpayers of Toronto approximately $10 million, and reduces duplication of construction in the downtown core, while adding much needed infrastructure upgrades.

What happens to the current ferry service once the tunnel is built?

The ferry service will continue to operate on a scheduled service to accommodate vehicular traffic and deliveries.

Key Dates and Timelines

January 2010                          P3 Process Initiated
March 15, 2010                         Environmental Assessment Started
March 24, 2010                         EA public meeting date
August 9, 2010                         Call for Expressions of Interest
September 2010                         Multiple consortia submissions
October 2010                         Three consortia shortlisted
November 2010                         Public Meeting on Environmental Assessment
January 2011                         Public Meeting on Environmental Assessment
April 2011                      Announcement of Final EA Report and Shortlisted Consortia
July 2011                      Agreement with City of Toronto reached
September 2011                      Technical Submissions received for evaluation
October 2011                      Federal Regulation gazetted
November 2011                         Financial Submissions received for evaluation

SOURCE Toronto Port Authority

For further information:

Media Contact:  Suzanna Birchwood, (416) 863-2036/ (416) 317-6405 (mobile)

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Toronto Port Authority

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