Council awards half-million dollar contract to replace aging Erin culvert

·2 min read

ERIN – A 92-year-old culvert at Sideroad 24 in Erin is going to be replaced after council approved the tender work with South Shore Contracting for $496,354.99.

Council awarded the work to South Shore Contracting of Essex County Inc. after receiving 13 bids. South Shore Contracting submitted the lowest bid, while the highest one came from Trisan Construction for $1.23 million.

The tenders were reviewed by staff and the town’s consultant, R.J. Burnside & Associates Limited. Staff and R.J. Burnside noted in a staff report that South Shore Contracting, the lowest bidder, was a qualified contractor and has completed similar work for the Town of Erin in the past.

South Shore Contracting’s bid is also within the town’s capital budget of $600,000 including consulting fees. As a result, council unanimously approved the tender.

In a staff report from January 2022, it was noted that the culvert on Sideroad 24, which was built in 1930, was at the top priority for culvert replacements as its life expectancy has been reached.

“The culvert is generally in poor condition and is demonstrating signs of severe concrete deterioration, cracking, and moisture penetration throughout the culvert barrel. The estimated cost of the replacement is $598,500,” the January staff report stated.

Coun. Michael Robins wondered why there was a huge range of bidding price from the contractors for the culvert replacement.

“How does one bid at $1.2 million, and the other one at $400,000 and still be able to do the same quality of work?” asked Robins during the meeting.

The town’s director of infrastructure services and engineer, Nick Colucci, explained this typically happens on road and bridge projects because it depends on how busy they are.

“I see this all the time on roads at the county committee meetings where there’s huge price disparities between the high end and low end. I think it’s simply because the high-end people, they figure if they get it, it’s jammed and they’re busy, so they don’t need to work,” explained Mayor Allan Alls.

Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com

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