Toronto (June 1, 2015) –PortsToronto today announced that a significant milestone has been reached on its privately-funded pedestrian tunnel construction project at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Late on Friday, May 29, 2015, the Independent Certifier issued a “substantial completion” certificate to PortsToronto, PCL Construction, as well as the proponent of the Public Private Partnership (P3), Forum Equity Partners. Although final finishing work is still underway, the “substantial completion” certificate signals that construction will now enter a new phase and enables PortsToronto to set an opening date of late July 2015. Determination of a final date will be communicated in the coming weeks and is dependent on commissioning one remaining elevator, completion of final finishing work such as tiling, the implementation of a new Digital Out-of-Home advertising platform and passenger service enhancements, and the installation of integral safety and security systems.
“After more than three years of work by PCL Construction and its trades, the PortsToronto team is pleased to announce this significant milestone,” said Mark McQueen, Chairman, PortsToronto. “The tunnel will facilitate business travel, tourism and trade in our city, and our strong financial performance has provided the means to invest in this innovative infrastructure project. First announced in 1935, the tunnel is now closer than ever.”
The tunnel, which cost $82.5 million to build, has been financed by the private sector and will be ultimately paid for by airport users via the existing Airport Improvement Fee for Billy Bishop Airport, not the taxpayer. The City of Toronto also saved more than $10 million on its own island water main and sewage project, while avoiding duplication of costly and disruptive construction work, due to an agreement reached in 2011 with PortsToronto. Under the agreement, PortsToronto designed the tunnel to suit the City's needed water and sewage mains.
“Over the coming days and weeks, PCL Construction will complete the remaining work in the tunnel in an effort to bring us closer to opening day,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto. “These final construction and service elements will take a few more weeks to complete but we look forward to receiving our first travellers in late July and showcasing the award-winning innovation that has gone into the tunnel to improve access to the airport and provide passengers with a world-class travel experience.”
About PortsToronto (http://www.portstoronto.com/)
For more than 100 years PortsToronto, (formerly the Toronto Port Authority), has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $6.7 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
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