Toronto's airport rail link to be built by consortium

A consortium of major construction companies, including Aecon Group Inc., has been selected as the preferred bidder for completing the rail link between Pearson International Airport and Toronto's downtown.

A consortium of major construction companies, including Aecon Group Inc., has been selected as the preferred bidder for completing the rail link between Pearson International Airport and Toronto's downtown.

"The selection of AirLinx Transit Partners as the preferred bidder is the result of an open, fair and competitive procurement process, which was overseen by a fairness adviser, " Infrastructure Ontario said in making the announcement.

Infrastructure Ontario, a Crown corporation, manages some of the province's  larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects.

Metrolinx, the Ontario government agency that looks after public transportation in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton area, will own and operate the air rail line, or ARL, providing express rail service between two of Canada's busiest transportation hubs — Pearson Airport and Toronto Union Station.

Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx will now begin negotiating contract details with the preferred bidder.

The cost of the project, which includes designing, building and financing a passenger station and three-kilometre rail line, is to be announced following completion of negotiations and financial close, both expected in early 2012.

Construction of the rail link is expected to begin in spring 2012 and be completed in time for the 2015 Pan American Games.

The rail link will branch off the Weston Subdivision (GO Georgetown corridor) and connect to Toronto Pearson with a new passenger station at Terminal 1.

AirLinx Transit Partners is a consortium of some of Canada's biggest construction companies, including Aecon Construction and Materials Ltd. and Dufferin Construction Co.

Aecon is a division of Canada's largest publicly traded infrastructure development company, specializing in complex highway infrastructure, bridges, tunnels and airfields, and is one of Canada's top producers of aggregate and asphalt products.

Dufferin, a division of (Canada) Inc., is one of the largest heavy civil engineering contractors in Canada and a leading supplier of construction materials, products and services.

Metrolinx president and CEO Bruce McCuaig described the ARL as a "signature project for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that will provide a great new transportation option between our nation's two busiest transportation hubs."