Stratford sewage project delayed by budget issue

It could be close to the end of 2019 before the project to transport sewage from Stratford across the Hillsborough Bridge to Charlottetown is completed.

The town had originally hoped the project could be completed by spring.

A tender for the first phase of the project is complete, and Jeremy Crosby, deputy CAO and director of infrastructure with the Town of Stratford, said the current bid in hand for the project is too expensive.

"We felt that, based on the engineer's estimate, that the one tender that did come in came in a fair bit higher than what we expected," said Crosby.

"There's several items that we looked at to try to lower the price and negotiate with the low bidder. At the end of the day it was felt that we couldn't get the cost estimate down where we needed it to be."

Ottawa, province sharing cost

The project was announced in the spring of 2017. The idea was — with funding assistance from Ottawa and the province — to shut down the sewage plant in Stratford and instead pipe sewage to Charlottetown for processing there.

A total of $10.9 million in funding was made available, with 50 per cent coming from the federal government and 25 per cent each from the province and the town.

Nancy Russell/CBC

The cost of the first phase of the project was estimated to be $6.2 million, but the tender came in at $8.7 million.

The town has made several changes to the tender to bring the cost down, including extending the construction time. That, plus the time taken to rewrite the tenders, has delayed the expected project completion date.

Once the project is completed, the Stratford plant will be decommissioned and the area converted back to parkland.

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With files from Jessica Doria-Brown