If UTDC succeeds in finalizing the deal for the entire 14-kilometre transportation system, 600 person-years of employment will be created at the Thunder Bay facility, according to Bob Gawley, UTDC's manager of marketing communications.
UTDC has been vying for the contract since it submitted its first bid at the end of 1987.
Gawley is not ruling out delays in finalizing the deal, stating that UTDC "has been disappointed in the past by such things as the war in the Gulf.
Calling the deal unique, Gawley explained that UTDC will not only design and build the system, but will also own it through a consortium for 15 years before it is turned over to the city.
It was less than a year ago that UTDC made what it referred to as its largest breakthrough into the U.
announced in June that it intends to sell its 49-per-cent interest in UTDC, the majority shareholder of Thunder Bay's Can Car Works.
However, on July 15 Thunder Bay-Atikokan MP Iain Angus issued a statement to provincial Transportation Minister Ed Philip urging the minister to protect the employees of Can Car in the event that its only Canadian competitor, Bombardier of Montreal, buys Lavalin's shares of UTDC.
Angus asked that "the government of Ontario ensure that if Bombardier does acquire all or part of Lavalin's shares in UTDC that specific and legally binding guarantees be provided the workers at Can Car and the community of Thunder Bay that would prevent Bombardier from shutting down the Thunder Bay operation.
In an interview Angus admitted that Bombardier is only one of a number of potential buyers of Lavalin's shares of UTDC.