The west span deck of Ontario’s first cable-stay bridge, which opened on November 29, 2015, split on January 10, 2016 resulting in a two-foot upward shift. Investigatory reports concluded 40 bolts failed due to the uplift from the bridge cables. The $106 million bridge project was delivered by a joint venture with Bot Ferrovial, which will construct a similar bridge to carry traffic in the opposite direction. The failure of a new cable-stayed bridge is considered “highly unusual”.
The Highway 407 East project in Ontario is being done in two phases as separate public-private partnerships (P3s), however the province will manage and collect the tolls. The $1 billion P3 contract for Phase 1 was awarded to 407 East Development Group (407EDG) and is expected to open late 2015. The $1.2 billion P3 contract for Phase 2 was recently awarded to Blackbird Infrastructure with construction scheduled to start in fall 2015.
Opinion piece, written by a Member of Provincial Parliament, that questions the use of public-private partnerships in Canada, examines several projects from transit, health, and transportation sectors that have faltered. Author emphasizes that P3s are primarily aimed at generating profits for the private sector and often the government loses out by not getting the deal they thought they were getting and no longer having control over the service being provided. The article was prompted by a December 2012 report by the Auditor General of Ontario that found Presto, the province’s transit fare payment system, is poised to become the most expensive systems of its type in the world.