It looks like the 10th Street Bridge replacement project is going to cost more than anticipated.
City council approved awarding an $8.68-million tender to Looby Builders (Dublin) Limited at its meeting Monday evening for the major construction job due to begin this fall on Owen Sound's downtown connecting link between Highways 6 and 21.
The total approved budget for the bridge replacement project -- including traffic signal control and timing improvements on 10th Street -- was $7.85-million.
According to a city staff report, at the accepted construction tender price the 10th Street bridge replacement will have an expected deficit of $1.45-million -- as nearly $1.5-million has already been spent on services such as consulting and engineering.
In all, the price tag of the project is now $9.3-million.
Owen Sound's Director of Public Works and Engineering Dennis Kefalas told councillors it's always disappointing when estimates aren't bang on, but it is hard (to predict) with projects of this nature.
“We do believe we got a fair price for this bridge,” Kefalas says.
The accepted tender from Looby Builders was the lowest of six compliant bids received – more than $600,000 clear of the second cheapest submission.
Deputy Mayor Brian O'Leary aired concerns over "messaging" and made comments indicating the results of the tender do not mean the project is overbudget.
“This does not mean we are $1.5-million overbudget before we get started, the way I look at it,” O'Leary says.
He says whether it's city staff, engineers or consultants that try and put a number together for the cost of the bridge, there is never an actual number until the actual quotes come in.
"Now we have that number," O'Leary explains. "This is what our budget number is."
Budget or estimate, that number is $1.45-million higher than anticipated before actual work on the project has begun.
Construction on the bridge is set to begin in September. It's expected to be substantially complete by December 2020.
The project must be complete by March 31, 2021 to maintain eligibility for a $3-million grant from the province's Connecting Links program.
Kefalas told councillors the approval of the tender will keep the project on schedule.