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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lawrence Nadessan, 44, was last seen on Oct. 24 at 11:30 p.m. in Maple Ridge.
Maple Ridge man has been missing since Saturday night

Cameras saw him leaving home, not dressed for the weather

Jennifer Sylte came up with the idea to bring the pumpkin patch to the school’s back field. (Ronan O’Doherty/ THE NEWS)
Maple Ridge elementary school brings the pumpkin patch to its back field

All 600 c̓əsqənelə Elementary students picked fall fruits close to class in lieu of field trip

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge man charged in sexual assault cases dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Man found injured, Ridge Meadows RCMP looking for witnesses

Had lacerations to his face and hands, seen on Lougheed Highway

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 exposure event at Garibaldi secondary in Maple Ridge

‘High level of anxiety’ among teachers after fourth exposure

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and staff by parents must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

It’s been eight years since Gordon Spencer (pictured), and cousin, ‘Lil’ Bruce Mayo, were gunned down in a home in Langley, and Spencer’s widow is hoping someone who knows something will step up (file)
Eight years on and still no answers in Langley double murder

Wife of victim makes public appeal for people with information to come forward

Most Read