$4.4M to com­plete Hwy. 101

By­law in­tro­duced for Tim­mins coun­cil to OK up­grade of ‘Con­nect­ing Link’

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - FRONT PAGE - LEN GIL­LIS

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.

Luc Du­val

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