Teams shortlisted for the Gordie Howe International Bridge P3 have been invited to rebid with their best and final offer (BAFO) as the process nears its conclusion.
This came about after the three parties all submitted bids that exceeded the affordability threshold allowed by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA).
WDBA still expects to reach a decision by the end of June.
The three bidding teams, as of 24 May, were:
- Bridging North America: led by ACS Infrastructure, Fluor Corporation and RBC Dominion Securities
- CanAm Gateway Partners: led by Fengate and EllisDon Capital
- Legacy Link Partners: led by SNC-Lavalin, Vinci Concessions and John Laing
The procurement for the cross-border Gordie Howe project has been a three-year process, which included some delays in 2016 linked to the acquisition of properties in the US and Canada and the management of project risk.
The request for proposal (RFP) was issued in November 2016 for the 30-year DBFOM, but the subsequent period to submit financial and technical proposals was delayed until earlier this year, when technical bids from all three bids were submitted In April.
Separately, AECON had to drop out of the Bridging North America group over the Canadian government review of the China Communications Construction Company International Holding (CCCI) buyout of the company.
The affordability threshold is normally included in the RFP, in which the municipality behind the project indicates how much they are willing to put in any particular P3, said a source briefed on the situation.
It was not clear by how much the bids exceeded the threshold, but cost estimates have varied on the project. The Toronto Globe & Mail recently reported that construction costs could be as high as CAD 4.8bn.
Mark Butler, director of communications for the WDBA, said the authority expects to identify the preferred proponent over the coming weeks. He said that financial close is targeted for the end of September 2018.
Butler would not comment on the rebidding process, but added the he still expects the bridge will start construction later this year.