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SNC-Lavalin, Aecon consortium awarded $5-billion Toronto transit project

TORONTO - The Ontario government has confirmed the selection of an SNC-Lavalin and Aecon consortium to build Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit project estimated to be worth about $5 billion.The Crosslinx Transit Solutions group, which comprises SNC-Lavalin (TSX:SNC), ACS Infrastructure Canada Inc., EllisDon and Aecon (TSX:ARE), was the winning bidder to design, finance, build and maintain the 19-kilometre transit line that would include 25 stations and stops.The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is part of Metrolinx's regional transportation plan designed to reduce congestion.It would run along Eglinton Avenue with about half the distance running underground and would link to bus routes, three subway stations and various GO Transit lines.The contract is expected to be signed this summer with construction starting early next year and completed in late 2020.Financial details weren't disclosed Monday but analysts estimate the total project is worth up to about $5 billion.Leon Aghazarian of National Bank Financial expects the consortium will earn higher margins for this project than most because of its size, lengthy term and complexity.The contract is positive news for embattled engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, which was also part of another winning group selected to help build a new multibillion-dollar bridge connecting Montreal and the south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

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