Planning stages for the revitalization of Bay St. could start as soon as tomorrow after council voted 7-3 in favour of starting the project this year.
Originally estimated at $4.94 million, the price grew to $7.4 million with the addition of signature work. Another unexpected $8,571,376 was thrown at the project when only one tender was received by Pioneer Construction Inc. – costing more than $1 million above the latest estimate, and approx. $2.5 million more than was anticipated.
Despite this, Council decided it was important to move ahead with the project this year as opposed to waiting 1-3 additional years.
“Things get more expensive as time passes,” Coun. Gardi said, showing his support for improving the city and enticing people to stay.
Coun. Hillsinger echoed his sentiment, adding that this is an exciting investment into the community.
“It helps us build a place people want to stay in and a place people want to come to. It has trees, good roads, and an appealing environment and it propels us into this century,” she said.
“In an attempt to bring this project closer in line with available funds, the Engineering Division and Kresin Engineering entered into a negotiation with Pioneer Construction to reduce the scope of work,” said a report in the agenda.
As a result, the following items have been removed from the project:
- Removal of proposed gathering locations
- Removal of unit pavers in the boulevard (replace with concrete)
- Removal of concrete curb around planters
- Reduce the depth of planting bed soil
This reduced scope of work will result in a total tender value of $6,799,476.50.
Both the mayor and Coun. Christian voiced their concerns in regards to the tender.
“This project managed us and we didn’t manage it,” Christian said, while Provenzano compared Bay St. to the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, saying it lacks scenery, looking like “driving down an alleyway.”
Bay St. will be closed one block at a time starting this summer to allow changes such as reducing the street from four lanes to two, relocating and upgrading street lights, and streetscape improvements.