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Culvert to cost 120% more than estimate

by Chris Daponte

BRUCEDALE - Replacing a large culvert on Jones Baseline will end up costing  more than double what Guelph-Eramosa officials originally expected.

The initial estimate for the culvert was $95,000 yet the lowest of three tenders received by the township was $210,156 from Taylor Wakefield General Contractors.

Engineer Helen Jenkins, of R.J. Burnside and Associates, explained in a letter to council the 120% increase can be attributed to three factors.

First, part of the cost for the 2012 Jones Baseline reconstruction - including excavation, gravel, asphalt, top soil, grass seed and much - will be included with the culvert replacement, accounting for about $63,370 of the culvert cost, Jenkins explained.

She added the major storm requirements of Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) dictated the diameter of the culvert should be increased from 2.1 to 3.1 metres.

And third, Jenkins said, the length of the culvert was increased from 12.2 to 16m to prevent shoulder erosion and “provide a safer passage for vehicular traffic.” She concluded, “both the diameter and length increases are warranted to provide a safe, serviceable road cross culvert meeting current design and agency criteria.”

But councillor Corey Woods took exception to the increases, wondering why the culvert size was okay for the better part of two centuries but now has to be changed just because the GRCA says so.

Councillor Doug Breen acknowledged the culvert is very “expensive,” noting that a decade ago the township built entire bridges for about the same amount. However, Breen noted the GRCA is simply enforcing rules imposed by the province. He said he is not opposed to widening the culvert.

Mayor Chris White said he understands Woods’ concern, especially considering the type of storm that prompted the move to a larger culvert would likely wash out the entire road, let alone the culvert. But that is the situation the township has been dealt, White added.

Council unanimously approved a resolution awarding the culvert project to Taylor Wakefield General Contractors (councillor John Scott was absent) in the amount of $210,156.

The cost overrun of $115,156 will be taken from the municipality’s bridge replacement reserve, leaving that reserve with a balance of $65,905.


September 16, 2011


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