- The city of Winnipeg, Canada, has announced the joint venture Plenary Roads Winnipeg — led by the Canadian businesses of the Plenary Group and PCL Construction — will build the second phase of the city’s $587 million transit corridor and highway underpass, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.
- The total undertaking is Winnipeg’s largest-ever capital project and will be a public-private partnership (P3) with the joint venture designing, building and then maintaining the project for 30 years.
- The corridor funding includes a $225 million upfront payment from the city, but, with $20 million in annual maintenance payments, its costs will ultimately reach $600 million.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the Plenary Group has participated in several public works projects in Canada and built the Disraeli bridges in Winnipeg. City officials said construction will start later this year, with completion scheduled for 2019 and full operations for 2020.
Canada has seen repeated success using the P3 model. In November, Ontario officials announced they had saved $2 billion on the $9.1 billion, 12-mile Eglinton Crosstown light-rail project, a savings they attributed to the P3 structure. In fact, Brendan Bechtel of the Bechtel Group used Canada as an example of a potential model for the U.S.'s own infrastructure struggles in an op-ed piece for USA Today late last year. In his article, he urged Congress to invest more in the nation's deteriorating highway, roads, bridges and transportation systems.
As a vote of confidence for P3s, Bechtel launched its own P3 business unit, and, for its first project, the Bechtel-led consortium TransEd Partners is building a $1.8 billion light rail transit project for the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada — the first P3 for the city.
P3s are gaining traction in the U.S. as well. Long Beach, CA, officials recently announced that all agreements and financing arrangements are in place for the P3 that will build the city’s new $513 million civic center, a project that is also spearheaded by the Plenary Group. In addition, work has just begun on the $5.6 billion, Purple Line light rail extension project in Maryland, one of the biggest P3s in the country and the second transportation project in the U.S. to include private financing.