Bills tick up on Commonwealth job

By Mark Squibb | Vol. 7 No. 4 (February 28 2019)

A number of different upgrading and repair jobs undertaken by the City of Mount Pearl have crept up in costs.

One of those major projects is the upgrading of Commonwealth Avenue.

That project was initially contracted to Fairview Investments to the tune of $8,639,133, of which the City contributed $2,610,279, with the remaining cost divided between the federal and provincial governments. The work included repaving on Commonwealth Avenue from Glendale Avenue to Francis Street, upgrading or installing of 2,000 metres of sidewalks, upgrading the traffic signals at four key locations, and updates to the water and wastewater infrastructure.

A change order approved during the Feb. 19 city council meeting will see the City supply an additional $370,000 to be spent on removal of ‘unsuitable materials.’

"This is something, your Worship, that you can't determine until you open up the ground and the trench is dug," noted Deputy Mayor Jim Locke.

An additional $327,000 approximately was approved for better traffic control and more flag person labor hours to meet traffic safety standards.

"Safety was paramount here, and certainly not cheap," said Locke.

Additional materials, including temporary asphalt and storm sewer pipes, will cost approximately $111,000 bringing the total additional costs to $808,374.

Council approved the change order unanimously, although councillors Lucy Stoyles and Andrew Ledwell did note that it was a concern that the project was not initially budgeted properly.

"We always allow for a 10 or 12 percent overrun, but this is the biggest one I've ever seen since I've been here,” said Stoyles. “Now it's probably the biggest project we've done, but still when we look at it, it is a little bit disturbing."

Additional funds are also needed for repairs to the Summit Centre.

Council voted unanimously to enlarge Stantec's responsibilities in the project.

Contracted to perform oversight and inspection for $34,004, Stantec was initially contracted to determine the cause of the leaks and make recommendations to fix the problem. Deputy Mayor Locke explained that Stantec would now perform periodic inspections to ensure that recommended repairs done by Marco are being done to the City's satisfaction, at an additional cost of $10,925.

Marco's contract to build the Summit Centre was priced at $37,958,284.

On a positive note, one million dollars in funding remains from the completion of Phase 1 of upgrades to Black Marsh Road from Holy Sepulchre Cemetery to the City's boundaries. The City will apply to the Building Canada Program, which provided the money for the project, for the funding to be transferred to complete Phase 2.

Phase 2 has not yet been tendered.

A proposal to initiate the planning, design and procurement of a design build approach, which Locke says will start the process of transferring the funding, will cost $16,270.

The construction contract was awarded to Weirs Construction, at an original amount of $3,397,453.

Posted on March 8, 2019 .