Rendering of a planned Surrey light rail train. (Photo: surrey.ca)

TransLink extends bidding deadline for Surrey LRT amid uncertainty

With mayor-elect McCallum vowing to nix the light rail line, TransLink says proponents want more ‘clarity’

As the future of Surrey’s light rail project hangs in the balance, TransLink has extended deadline for contractors to apply to build it.

Surrey mayor-elect Doug McCallum has vowed to halt the 10.5-kilometre Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT plan and instead extend the existing SkyTrain line down Fraser Highway to Langley.

McCallum told the Now-Leader he and his Safe Surrey Coalition will put forward a formal motion to cancel Surrey’s light rail project at the inaugural meeting of the new council on Nov. 5. He would then have to get his vision passed at the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation and ensure there’s enough money on the table to build it.

“Given the City of Surrey’s indication that they plan to begin a discussion with the new Mayors’ Council regarding rapid transit in Surrey, we’ve extended the RFQ (Request for Qualifications) deadline until December 19,” said Chris Bryan, Senior Media Relations Advisor for TransLink, in an emailed statement.

“This has been done at the request of proponents to allow for more time to receive clarity from the Mayors’ Council on policy direction,” Bryan added.

The deadline was initially to be Nov. 21.

See more: TransLink opens up bidding process for Surrey light rail

TransLink kicked off the procurement phase of the LRT project in early September.

It launched after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to Surrey and “officially launched” the fully-funded and approved project on Sept. 4.

The project description for contractors, currently open on BC Bid, includes constructing the LRT-line with 11 passenger stops, road widening and improvements, building a new operations and maintenance facility, as well as improvements at transit exchanges at Newton, Guildford, Surrey Central and King George.

The scope of the project also includes work along the streetscape, as well as cycling and pedestrian ways.

“The scope is asking that not only will be have a contractor that knows how to build this, but knows how to operate this,” Stephan Mehr, project director for the SNG line, told reporters during a technical briefing at Surrey City Hall in September. “This is really important to us, we’re going to be very scrupulous in terms of who wants to build this… We’ve asked specifically for their best experience in delivering LRT beginning to end. It’s not just about building it and walking away.”

After the deadline passes, TransLink’s intention is for three groups to be shortlisted. At that point, a RFP (Request for Proposals) would launch that would entail “a technical and a price proposal for the project,” slated to start in early 2019.

The contract would be for 11 years, according to the BC Bid posting, including four years of design and construction, and seven more years for extended warranty and maintenance.

As of early September, prior to McCallum’s election and his vow to halt the project, TransLink estimated construction would begin in 2020 and that the line would be operation by 2024.

See also: Lower Mainland mayor suggests Surrey pay back $50M already spent on LRT

Last week, New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote has suggested Surrey should pay back the $50 million TransLink says it has spent on planning light rail in the city, but mayor-elect Doug McCallum who intends to build SkyTrain instead says that won’t be happening.

“We have no intention of paying that,” McCallum told the Now-Leader. “It’s TransLink’s problem, and it’s their mistake because they didn’t do any public consulting.”

The Mayors’ Council’s first meeting of the newly elected mayors is set for Nov. 15 in New Westminster.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Agassiz teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

AESS students say they had the experience of a life time

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Most Read