Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Infrastructure Ontario (IO) November 2022 Market Update released recently focuses on modernizing highways, public transit, hospitals, schools, children’s treatment centres, and correctional facilities.
The update includes 39 projects, with 26 in pre-procurement and 13 in active procurement. The list also includes 16 additional projects in early stages of planning and determining the project’s scope, timing, and delivery model. The total value of the projects is more than $35 billion in estimated design and construction costs.
“Through unprecedented challenges we have been relentless in bringing projects to market and providing maximum transparency to our market about project timelines,” Michael Lindsay, president and CEO at Infrastructure Ontario wrote in a letter introducing the report.
Since 2019, IO has brought more than two dozen projects to market, including 11 healthcare projects, 10 subway projects, the first of planned rapid build housing projects,” Lindsay said. “Our progress has also resulted in some of the largest of our contracts proceeding from procurement into the construction stage. This includes the recently announced financial closes for the two largest Ontario Line contracts.”
Earlier this year, both the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital and the Thunder Bay Correctional Complex moved from procurement into the construction stage.
All contracts currently in construction are valued at approximately $41 billion, not including the additional contracted value to ensure the long-term operations and maintenance of assets on projects such as the Metrolinx GO Rail Expansion On-Corridor works.
Lindsay says IO has adapted to changing global and local conditions in the following ways:
- Projects are becoming larger, more complex, and increasingly infused with technology
- Inflationary and supply chain pressures are impacting budgets and schedules as well as the risk appetite of our partners
- Various jurisdictions have announced post-pandemic infrastructure investments, implying further competition for a finite supply of innovative companies and skilled labourers.
“All of this means evolving how we do certain projects to attract the best companies to compete for and complete the work,” Lindsay said. “In this Update, you will notice IO and government have prudently revisited the cost estimates for future projects in light of inflation as well as other challenges currently being felt globally.”
That means, in some cases, successful projects may be scheduled later than previously anticipated to avoid competing for resources with other important Ontario projects.
“These evolving conditions also require us to continuously add to our toolbox of procurement strategies and delivery models to suit the needs of each project.”
“For the government’s more urgent needs, we are employing rapid build strategies to get those new and expanded assets serving seniors, students and the justice system built as quickly as possible,” Lindsay said. “We always consider the best commercial contract basis for any of our projects.”
IO plans to contract a project management service provider to deliver more complex projects with a value of up to $20 million from inception through to final completion, including design, construction and commissioning, utilizing a predominantly Design-Bid-Build contract model for designers and contractors.
Lindsay says the contract should be in place by spring 2024.