$4.4M to complete Hwy. 101
Bylaw introduced for Timmins council to OK upgrade of ‘Connecting Link’
City council has given partial approval to a $4.4-million agreement with AECOM Canada to do the detailed design work for the Connecting Link, for sections of Algonquin Boulevard, from Mattagami Boulevard through to Father Costello Drive.
It means the city will be handing the engineering design, tender calls and management of the construction projects over to a private company. City council will still be involved in approving the tenders and individual construction jobs.
City engineering director Luc Duval told council this week the agreement is the result of an RFP (Request For Proposal) issued in last September.
This is to cover the detailed design work and construction management for several phases on the longterm upgrade plans for Algonquin Boulevard, from 2017 through to 2024.
Despite putting the RFP on the market back in September, Duval said there were only two responses. In the hopes of getting more proposals, the deadline was extended from the first week of November to the second week of December. There were no new takers.
The two companies that responded to the RFP were AECOM canada ltd. and JL Richards and Associates.
“We received two proposals. The recommendation tonight is to award this RFP to AECOM. It has a value of $4.4 million,” said Duval.
He said the proposal includes six separate tender packages that are to be prepared along with six separate construction phases that will be overseen by AECOM.
“That first phase is the Mattagami Bridge to Western Auto Sales by Theriault Boulevard. It’s a section where we’ve experienced a lot of failures over the last couple of years,” said Duval.
He said he wants to see the detailed design work so the project is construction ready as soon as possible so that work can be done in 2018.
Duval said the six major algonquin Boulevard re-construction projects between now and 2024 will be:
• Mattagami Boulevard to Theriault Boulevard;
• Theriault Boulevard to Mountjoy Street;
• Highway 655 intersection to Father Costello Drive;
• Brunette Road to Highway 655;
• Mountjoy Street to Cedar Street; and
• Cedar Street to Brunette Road. He also said the approved proposal includes a communications strategy to notify citizens, especially those living along Algonquin, of everything that is happening.
He said this will include public information meetings, information on detour routes, and building inspections that will be carried out before heavy construction work begins.
The work will also include the replacement of sidewalks and traffic signals. As part of the upgrade the new traffic signals will include digital readouts showing time left for crossing or passing through an intersection, Duval said.
He added that he was disappointed that only two companies responded to the RFP even though plenty of time was allotted for the proposal. He said on the technical side, both companies scored closely. Duval said the price was the determining factor.
The full price for the AECOM bid was $4,438,499 versus the higher bid of $5,106,408.
This was described as RFP No. 2. Duval said the first design RFP was for Highway 101 East, and is still being worked on. The third design RFP, yet to be awarded, will be for Riverside Drive.
He added that the benefit of having detailed design work done now is that if there is a point in the future where provincial funding is not provided and the city does not have the money to do the work, the work can be deferred, but still be considered construction ready.
Duval said governments are more likely to partner on projects that have solid cost estimates and can be completed in three to four years, instead of projects that will take 10 years or more.
Mayor Steve Black asked Duval to clarify the Connecting Link plan for the summer of 2017.
Duval said the plan is to continue rebuilding Highway 101 from where the work was left last summer near the Tisdale Cemetery. Based on the funding available, Duval said “it will allow us to get very close to the bottom of Rae Hill in 2017.”
He added the city is waiting for a funding commitment from the province.
Coun. Joe Campbell asked what the total cost might be for the all RFPS for the design work on the various sections of the Connecting Link.
Duval responded that in the original $100 million estimate for the Connecting Link project, roughly $10 million was to be spent on the cost of design and project management.
Duval said the city is hovering in that range right now at about 10% to 12% overall, which includes roughly 7% for the design work and preparing documents and tenders.
Duval explained that for engineering purposes there are three stages of design: preliminary design, conceptual design and detailed design. Detailed design is level of work required to put a job out for tenders.
Campbell also asked about the pavement design life-cycle analysis.
“Have we not done this on the current strip?” he asked, referring to Highway 101 east of Rae Hill.
“Every strip has a different traffic count,” said Duval, adding that the exercise is still worth doing for traffic analysis. He said it may show an opportunity to have asphalt of a lesser thickness in low volume traffic areas, yet still get many years of service, thus saving money.
Coun. Rick Dubeau asked if the city was planning to use the extra thick asphalt on the sections of Algonquin just as it did on the first phase of work, done last summer on Highway 101 between the Tisdale Cemetery and the Bruce Avenue turnoff. The asphalt thickness was set at 225 to 230 millimetres, almost nine inches.
Duval responded the thickness of new asphalt would depend on the section of road, the traffic volume, the traffic load and the volume of stop and start traffic. He said the detailed design work by AECOM would determine the best thickness. He said he expected to see some variations.
“The plan is to provide the best highway we can for the best life-cycle costing decision,” said Duval.
Dubeau said his preference is to go with the MTO (Ministry of Transportation Ontario) asphalt thickness standard which he said is good enough for Highway 11. It is less thick and a less costly, which Dubeau said would be more appropriate for Timmins.
Council has voted to approve the funding agreement bylaw with first and second readings. A vote on the third reading of that bylaw is scheduled to take place on Jan. 16.