Public Private Partnership Leads to Completion of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Pedestrian Tunnel

Landmark Infrastructure Project Benefits the City and Citizens of Toronto

TORONTO, July 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Forum Equity Partners, lead developer of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Pedestrian Tunnel and a Canadian leader in Public-Private-Partnerships, congratulates PortsToronto on the completion of the milestone infrastructure project.

The tunnel will effectively enhance the convenience of Billy Bishop Airport. By making the airport more accessible to everyone, it will provide incredible value to the citizens of Toronto, the business community and travelers alike while also dramatically easing traffic congestion — a fact that will benefit the growing residential community that has developed in the airport neighbourhood.

"The completion of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Pedestrian Tunnel is a sterling example of what can be accomplished when the public and private sector work together in partnership," explains Richard Abboud, Founder & CEO of Forum Equity Partners, the lead developer on the project. "We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with our partners at Ports Toronto and the outstanding consortium which delivered a truly unique project for Toronto and Canada."

"We are proud of the collaboration that was involved in building our new tunnel to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which will now serve as an elegant passageway through which both visitors and residents can access our world-class city of Toronto," said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO, PortsToronto. " By using an innovative public-private partnership model, PortsToronto was able to deliver this unique piece of infrastructure without a penny of taxpayer money."

The project includes moving sidewalks that travel at 2.3 kilometers per hour. Beginning with a descent of 100 feet using mainland-side elevators in the brand new pavilion and ending with escalators leading to the airport's check-in area, the tunnel reduces the time necessary to complete the journey to less than six minutes. 

Forum Equity Partners Contributes to a Global First

The Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Pedestrian Tunnel project was procured by PortsToronto as a public-private partnership (P3) structured as a design-build-finance-maintain project. The project consortium included Forum Equity Partners as lead developer, PCL Constructors as design-builder, Johnson Controls as Facility Manager and Arup as the lead designer.

As Canada's pioneer in P3 infrastructure projects Forum Equity Partners, selected by PortsToronto, was uniquely able to bring together the industry leading team of Canadian companies and experts that formed the project consortium. In partnership, this group leveraged private sector innovations which directly contributed to the successful completion of the tunnel project.

Even more significantly, the P3 model means that the project was financed by the private sector without requiring tax-payer support. Instead, it will be paid for by departing passengers via the existing Airport Improvement Fee.

In addition to reducing upfront funding requirements and managing the successful completion of construction, engineering and design elements of the project, value added by Forum Equity Partners and the private sector consortium includes:

  • Ensuring that the regional urban airport was able to maintain continuous operations despite being constrained by extremely tight building conditions.
  • Employing risk mitigation strategies to ensure structural integrity of the Tunnel as well as the safety of workers, pedestrians and other stakeholders. These strategies consisted of proving rock quality and conditions before commencing work.
  • The development of a 7-drift arch in the design which is a system of seven smaller tunnels filled with concrete to form an arch over the main Tunnel. This innovative design will make the Tunnel incredibly strong, safe and long-lasting for Toronto travelers.

"PortsToronto, PCL Construction and all of our consortium partners should be commended for bringing the best and most innovative thinking to this important made-in-Canada infrastructure project," adds Abboud. "The Tunnel's completion was only made possible by working in the true spirit of collaboration."

About Forum Equity Partners

Forum Equity Partners is a privately Canadian owned alternative investment management and principal investment firm with a focus on infrastructure, energy and renewables, and real estate. Forum is committed to achieving aggressive growth and success through innovation and continued performance as a top-tier alternative asset class developer, investor and manager.

Forum adds value through unconventional thinking and the relentless pursuit of innovation, rapid growth opportunities, and meaningful contributions to Canadian communities.  Over the past 10 years, the company has grown its net equity at a rate of over 50% per annum and now oversees $900 million of assets under management. Working with Forum means leveraging the strengths of a pioneer and industry leader in the P3 market with a recognized commitment to transparent and respectful relationships. 

SOURCE Forum Equity Partners

For further information: Adam Sanders, 647-620-1575

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