Bids to revitalize Halifax's Spring Garden Road come in over $10.4M budget

·2 min read
The local business association says the revitalization is long overdue, and the price tag is worth it. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
The local business association says the revitalization is long overdue, and the price tag is worth it. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Streetscape improvements to Halifax's busy Spring Garden Road shopping district could be significantly more costly than anticipated.

All three bids for the work, submitted at the end of March, are over the budget of $10.4 million.

Brycon Construction came in with the lowest bid at $11.2 million. Dexter Construction and Ocean Contractors put forward bids of $12.1 million and $13.1 million, respectively.

Coun. Waye Mason, who represents Halifax South Downtown, said the over-budget bids are "unfortunate, but not entirely unexpected in COVID times."

Upgrades to Spring Garden Road have been talked about since 2009. The work includes making it safer for pedestrians to cross the street, creating more green spaces and adding amenities at bus stops.

Sue Uteck, the executive director of the Spring Garden Road Business Association, said she hopes council will find the money to ensure the project is not delayed.

Business owners are gearing up for disruptions to begin this May and a marketing campaign is planned.

"Spring Garden Road pays millions of dollars in taxes every year, and its day for revitalization is long overdue. Let's get it done," said Uteck.

Coun. Waye Mason is hopeful that upgrades to Spring Garden Road will go ahead soon, even with bids coming in over budget.
Coun. Waye Mason is hopeful that upgrades to Spring Garden Road will go ahead soon, even with bids coming in over budget.(Paul Palmeter/CBC)

A municipal spokesperson told CBC News in an email that staff are reviewing the bids, and it will be up to council to decide if extra funds are needed for the project.

Mason pointed out that Halifax has received extra gas tax money, as well as COVID relief funds.

"Now really is the time to do this work, not once economic recovery has really started next summer," said Mason. "I hope we'll go ahead with it. I think we will."

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