A watermain replacement project for Burde Street will cost three times its original budget, forcing the City of Port Alberni to dip further into reserves to pay the difference.
The project had originally been approved as part of the 2021 five-year financial plan, with $350,000 allocated from the Water Reserve. Designs were completed in 2021-22 with the intention of tendering the project in 2022. That tender closed on March 10 with four bids, all ranging between $915,000 and $1.1 million.
Cost estimates rose because the scope of the project changed, acting CAO Scott Smith noted in a report. The watermain will be extended to the east side of 10th Avenue from Seventh Avenue, the watermain size has been increased in anticipation of future growth and an above-ground pressure reducing valve (PRV) has now been included. The additions will also improve firefighting capacity, Smith wrote, and replaces infrastructure that is “at the end of its life.”
Council voted March 28 to allocate $700,000 from the Water Reserve to make up the difference. This meant amending the proposed 2022-2026 Financial Plan.
Bowerman Excavating came in with the lowest bid of four contractors, at $916,000. The tender, contingency, consulting and ancillary costs will bring the project cost to $1.05 million.
Construction is estimated to take eight weeks. No start date was given.