Metrolinx and York Region deliver $250 million in rapid transit expansion

Award of Davis Drive and Highway 7 design/build construction contracts

MARKHAM, ON, Jan. 24, 2011 /CNW/ - Metrolinx and The Regional Municipality of York announced today the award of nearly $250 million for two design/build contracts for early construction work on York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) dedicated rapidway lanes, part of York Region's vivaNext rapid transit plan.

"By continuing to make progress on delivering these important infrastructure projects, we strengthen the regional transportation network in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)," said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx. "Transit projects like this help to connect the region and reinforce the important progress we are making on the Metrolinx regional transportation plan, which will provide more transportation choices, reduce congestion and will help transform travel in the GTHA."

"Today's announcement is an important step in building a modern rapid transit system to make transportation easier for the people of York Region," said Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP for Oak Ridges-Markham. "Investing in transit is a part of the Ontario government's Open Ontario plan to strengthen our economy, and create jobs and growth."

The first contract is for work along Davis Drive in the Town of Newmarket. The Davis Drive rapidways will extend 2.6 kilometres from Yonge Street to Roxborough Road and Patterson Street - just east of Southlake Regional Health Centre. The project includes installing six retaining walls, widening Keith Bridge, and removing and relocating light poles. This early construction activity prepares Davis Drive for widening and the construction of rapidways. The early construction work will be completed in 2011 followed immediately by the start of construction on the widening and rapidway construction activity. Construction is expected to be complete in 2014.

The second contract is for the design and construction of a 7-kilometre rapidway along Highway 7 from Yonge Street to Warden Avenue at Enterprise Blvd in Markham. Early construction activity is now underway and the project will be completed in 2014. The contracts were awarded to the partnership of Kiewit-Ellis Don (KED).

"It's an exciting time for York Region as we build a modern transit system and prepare our communities for future growth," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. "People will benefit from new green spaces, attractive commercial and residential development and more convenient, reliable transportation options."

These projects are being funded through Metrolinx, an agency of the Province of Ontario working to transform regional transit expansion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. These projects are part of Metrolinx's $1.4 billion commitment to improving transit in York Region, just one component of a larger $9.5 billion commitment in the first five priority projects of Metrolinx's Regional Transportation Plan, The Big Move.

As part of The Big Move, York Region's vivaNext rapid transit plan also supports the vision set out in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, a cornerstone of Ontario's Places to Grow initiative. This growth plan aims to manage growth in ways that sustain a robust economy, strong communities, and a healthy environment. For more information about the vivaNext plan and to sign up for specific project updates, please visit www.vivanext.com.

SOURCE Metrolinx

For further information: Dale Albers, York Region Rapid Transit Corporation, 905-886-6767, ext. 1020, dale.albers@york.ca; Vanessa Thomas, Metrolinx, 416-874-5974, vanessa.thomas@metrolinx.com

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