Ottawa, Canada – city to hire outside consultants for LRT project

The city of Ottawa will be hiring outside consultants to oversee various phases of its light rail construction project, The Ottawa Citizen reported Thursday. Canada’s federal capital plans a 7.7-mile east-west starter LRT route that will include a 1.5-mile downtown LRV subway. Here’s a graphic showing the planned LRT:
The consortium awarded the construction contract by Ottawa City Council will acquire rolling stock from France-based Alstom. Its Citadis LRVs will be the first of their type on any North American LRT system. The North American market for LRVs has been dominated by Bombardier, C.A.F., Kinkisharyo and Siemens.
And the news story:
“City seeks outsiders to manage consortium building LRT
By David Reevely
The Ottawa Citizen
January 3, 2013 1:03 PM

OTTAWA ai??i?? Ottawa’s light-rail project is supposed to include a lot of work for local companies, including millions for a small army of consultants the city’s hiring to manage its relationships with the Rideau Transit Group.

The consortium has won the $3.8-billion contract to design, build, finance and maintain the rail line through downtown, and now the real work begins, with technical demands that the city’s 28-person “rail implementation office” isn’t up to.

So with a public posting Thursday, the city set about looking for experts in 23 different areas, including 14 “project leads” for everything from structural engineering to managing property needed for the construction work. Another nine technical specialists are needed for jobs like monitoring noise and vibration and dealing with ground and rain water.

They’re high-end positions: The project leads will all be responsible for making sure the construction consortium lives up to the terms of its massive contract and the city wants each of the technical specialists to have at least 15 years of experience. And there’s a lot of money to be made: the posting on the popular government procurement board MERX says the city expects to spend up to $3 million a year on these services, with individual assignments worth up to $250,000 at a time.

The posting says the idea is to establish a list of qualified contractors that the city can use as it needs them, with initial terms of at least three years and the option of two more years ai??i?? to the expected end of the LRT construction project in 2018 ai??i?? if both parties agree.

The city has relied heavily on consultants for the rail project so far, with hundreds of thousands of dollars going to the Boxfish Group, led by Mayor Jim Watson’s confidant Brian Guest, to guide the planning of the 12.5-kilometre (7.7-mile) route. When RTG was presented as the winning bidder, the city’s staff rail director John Jensen said the project couldn’t have got that far without Guest.



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