Cen­tral Av­enue bridge re­place­ment will cost about $2M more than fore­cast

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NI­A­GARA THIS WEEK

— The re­place­ment of the Cen­tral Av­enue bridge in Fort Erie will cost about $2 mil­lion more than orig­i­nally fore­cast.

A re­cent re­port to re­gional politi­cians noted the larger bud­get for the project that was ini­tially pro­jected to cost $14.5 mil­lion.

Of the new $16.79 mil­lion to­tal, the re­gion would pay about $15.34 mil­lion — about $1.5 mil­lion more than orig­i­nally pre­dicted.

The Town of Fort Erie, which orig­i­nally ex­pected to pay $650,000, would be on the hook for $1.4 mil­lion be­cause of ex­panded wa­ter main work it wanted done.

In ad­di­tion to the ad­di­tional town work, the higher costs are due to a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, from hav­ing to re­move thou­sands of tonnes more of con­tam­i­nated soil than ex­pected, delays due to re­lo­ca­tion of Bell Canada util­i­ties, and nu­mer­ous change or­ders is­sued dur­ing the con­struc­tion.

Con­struc­tion is­sues and the ad­di­tional work re­quested by the town also means the full clo­sure of the 63-year-old bridge will be about twice as long as orig­i­nally planned.

It’s now ex­pected the bridge will be closed for about four weeks and the project com­pleted by about September, sev­eral months later than the orig­i­nally fore­casted com­ple­tion of July.

“We need to look at how we can hold some of the­ses con­sul­tants ac­count­able,” Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop said.

Re­gional pub­lic works com­mis­sioner Ron Tripp said staff is look­ing at whether any of the delays and ad­di­tional costs, in­clud­ing util­ity lo­ca­tions pro­vided in the de­sign, are the re­spon­si­bil­ity of firms hired by the re­gion.

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