Trans-Canada Highway project wins major international award (09/01/28)

NB 78

Jan. 28, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The highway project from Longs Creek to the Quebec border has received another prestigious honour.

The International Road Federation (IRF) has recognized the Trans-Canada Highway project among the winners of its 2008 Global Road Achievement Awards competition held in Washington, D.C.

This year, 12 projects from around the world were honoured for excellence in the road industry. The Trans-Canada Highway project received the IRF's award for innovative finance.

"New Brunswick has set a positive example across the country in how we have upgraded and modernized our transportation infrastructure, and I am pleased that these efforts continue to receive national and international attention," said Transportation Minister Denis Landry. "By engaging in a strong partnership with the private sector, New Brunswick and the Brun-Way group accelerated construction by three years, providing a safe, more efficient route for the movement of people and goods."

The project was the first highway infrastructure project in the country to require its private-sector partner to finance construction of the project with payment only after the highway opened to traffic on Nov. 1, 2007. The project has since served as a model for other highway infrastructure projects in Canada, and has received awards from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

Founded in 2000, this awards program recognizes the exemplary projects and organizations that place the road construction industry at the forefront of social and economic development. An independent panel of judges with expertise in the roadway development industry from around the world selected this year's winners.

"I am very proud that the IRF has recognized the Trans-Canada Highway project for innovation in financing," said Riadh Ben Aissa, executive vice-president, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. "This important project provided SNC-Lavalin with the opportunity to offer New Brunswickers the full range of our expertise in design, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance, as well as innovative financing services. We have a strong and successful partnership with the Government of New Brunswick on this project, and we look forward to future opportunities to work with the province."

Entries in the innovative finance category had to demonstrate success in constructing, operating and managing a project in a cost-effective manner. The project's development also had to come from funding sources different from traditional government financial streams.

SNC-Lavalin Capital, a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., was financial advisor to the Brun-Way Group. It led and arranged an innovative solution to finance the project, which was a novelty for the Canadian market. An investment-grade financing rated by Standard & Poor's was directly placed with Canadian institutional investors. SNC-Lavalin Capital also structured a mechanism for providing progress disbursements during the construction period, which positively affected the financing costs.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Andrew Holland, communications, Department of Transportation, 506-453-5634; Angela Kennedy, communications co-ordinator, Brun-Way Highway Operations, 506-474-7750.