Completion of Autoroute 25 Under P3 Agreement

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October 24, 2007


Fasken Martineau the Québec leader in public-private partnerships

On September 24, 2007, the Québec Government, through the intermediary of Julie Boulet, Minister for Transport, and Monique Jérôme-Forget, Minister of Finance, announced the financial closing of the project to design, build, finance and maintain a portion of the scheduled completion of Autoroute 25. Fasken Martineau, which acted as legal advisor to Transports Québec, has fashioned itself as a leader in this area by setting up the Québec Government's first ever public-private partnership (P3).

"This project is especially significant in that it presented major difficulties: drafting the partnership agreement alone was a huge challenge, seeing as this legally, technically and financially complex documentation was the first of its kind in Québec. Juggling such considerations as tax planning, the definition and integration of technical performance specifications, the terms and conditions governing tolls, the creation of financing packages that meet international government contract standards, and all of the issues surrounding the environment, urban planning, access to information and the integration thereof into the partnership agreement, and then blending them all into a coherent, 35-year agreement required creativity, thoroughness and dexterity," remarked Claude Auger, Fasken Martineau's managing director for the Québec region.

The Autoroute 25 project consists of the completion of a 7.2 kilometre stretch of toll highway in the east end of Montréal. The project's main components include a cable stayed bridge (with three lanes in each direction) spanning 1.2 kilometres over Rivière des Prairies, as well as a reserved public transit lane and a multifunctional path. This will improve transport service between Montréal and the city's northern belt by creating a new thoroughway that will free up traffic flow.

According to the Minister for Transport, this agreement represents a current value of $226 million in savings over 35 years compared to the conventional approach, and will give citizens to access the new infrastructure two years earlier.

After a process that included a request for qualifications followed by a request for proposals to three qualified international candidates, an agreement was entered into between the Québec Minister for Transport and Concession A25, S.E.C., a consortium that includes such participants as Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, Construction Kiewit Cie, Genivar, S.E.C. as well as St. Lawrence Cement Inc. and Parsons Overseas Company of Canada.

The transaction was a success thanks to the excellence and devotion of the Fasken Martineau team: Daniel Picotte and Jean Masson, who both led this file, as well as Andrew Ford, Lévy Bazinet, Jean-Philippe Gagné, Gilles Carli, Jean-François Perreault, Étienne Gadbois, Karl Delwaide, Angela Onesi and Charles Kazaz in Montréal; Tom Barlow and David Doubilet in Toronto; and Helmut Johannsen, David Little and Paul Wilson in Vancouver.

To crown this success, Fasken Martineau was awarded two other P3 mandates in connection with five major projects: the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, the McGill University Health Centre, the Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, the Centre d'hébergement et de soins de longue durée de la Montérégie, and finally the roadside rest areas that Transports Québec plans to implement.

With its achievements in Ontario, British Columbia and now Québec, Fasken Martineau is the Canadian leader in P3 projects.