Projects coming in half a million over budget putting a halt to some county roadwork

·5 min read

Pembroke -- High costs for some road projects at the County of Renfrew, with several projects coming in more than $500,000 over budget means some culverts are being delayed for a few years as staff cope with budgetary pressures and search to find savings.

The majority of the road rehabilitation projects and culverts approved in June for the County of Renfrew were significantly over-budget. While the planned work on Foymount Road was the highest, coming in over budget by $665,602, it was not the only project grossly over budget. Other overages averaged between $500,000 to $23,000. While council did approve these projects, a few planned culverts and bridges planned for this year will be carried over for a year or more, bringing a savings of $1.2 million which will supply some relief for the other projects.

“Consistently across all of them are overages,” Admaston/Bromley Mayor Michael Donohue said during a recent meeting of county council. “I think there was one -- a culvert or a bridge -- perhaps which came in under budget.”

He said he supported the recommendations to go ahead with the projects, however noted staff had stated they did not expect the costs to come down.

“I am certainly enormously hopeful the current rate of inflation does not continue into future capital expenditure years,” he said. “Else there are much larger questions to be considered.”

Warden Debbie Robinson noted she was sure the members of the Operations Committee went through “sticker shock” as the figures came in for the projects.

McNab/Braeside Mayor Tom Peckett, who chairs the committee, said due to the overages being realized over most capital projects in 2022, it was recommended several smaller projects be deferred until future years.

“County staff have initiated conversations with finance and Public Works staff from other municipalities and confirmed that significant cost increases are being realized on all projects in other areas as well,” he said in his report to council.

Pilgrim Road Bridge, Farquharson’s Creek Culvert, Snake River Culvert, Campbell Drive Culvert, Hanson Creek Culverts and Etmanskie Swamp Culvert are all being carried over for one to three years. This is expected to save $1,283,308 in the budget and supply some relief against the cost overages the capital program has experienced already in 2022.

Council did however approve several contracts, many of them quite large. The rehabilitation of Foymount Road (County Road 512) from Brudenell to Hubers Road, was awarded to R.G.T. Clouthier Construction Limited, Pembroke for $1,381,415.93 plus HST. The total cost of the project had been budgeted at about $846,400, so the shortfall on the total project cost of about $1.5 million was in excess of $665,602.

The contract for the rehabilitation of Beachburg Road (County Road 21) from civic address 1046 to the urban cross section, was awarded to H&H Construction Incorporated, Petawawa, for $1,216,714.25 plus HST. This was significantly over budget by over half a million dollars. The county had estimated the project would cost in total $870,707. The final estimated cost is $1.391 million.

Madawaska Street (County Road 1) from Elgin Street West to John Street in Arnprior will be rehabilitated for $403,625,74 plus HST. The contract was awarded to the single bidder, Thomas Cavanagh Construction. The distance is 0.3 kilometres. Sidewalk work is included in the tender and the county part of the project is $216,744. When the total costs are factored in for the project, the project was over budget by $99,174.

The rehabilitation of Drive-In Road (County Road 29) from Pembroke to Clearview Crescent, was awarded to Greenwood Paving (Pembroke) Limited, for $752,674.70 plus HST. This was significantly over the total project cost of $382,700. When the total project cost of $829,690 was factored in, the project was over budget by $446.990.

The rehabilitation of River Road (County Road 1 in Horton Township, from 1.1 km west of Henry Crescent to 600 metre east of Storie Road, was awarded to B.R. Fulton Construction Limited, Renfrew, for $849,937.80 plus HST. This project was $157,915 over budget based on the total project cost of $931,995.

The rehabilitation of White Water Road (County Road 24) from Highway 17 to Greenwood Road, was awarded to H&H Construction Incorporated, Petawawa, in the amount of $857,625.64 plus HST. Based on the total project costs, this was over budget by over $115,000.

The rehabilitation of Scollard Bridge was awarded to Bonnechere Excavating Incorporated, Renfrew, for $588,465 plus HST. When total costs are factored in the project is estimated to be over budget by almost $90,000.

The rehabilitation of Foresters Falls Road (County Road 7) from Harriet Street to the start of the semi-urban section was awarded to Greenwood Paving (Pembroke) Limited for $884,173.42 plus HST. This project was over budget by about $353,750.

The Bagot Creek Culvert contract was awarded to Power Precast Limited, Ottawa, for $172,270.25 plus HST, which makes the total project come in under budget by about $23,292.

As well, two county structures which were scheduled for rehabilitation were deferred due to being in better condition than originally predicted. Farquharson’s Creek Culvert located on South McNaughton Road in Admaston/Bromley and Campbell Drive Culvert located on Campbell Drive in McNab/Braeside will both be deferred until 2024.

Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader

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