Derwent is one of the roads in Cumberland slated for work. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland adds to scope of road work

Plans were revised in light of bidder uncertainties around COVID-19

Several Cumberland roads will be getting a makeover as part of work to upgrade local infrastructure.

Council voted to approve awarding tenders for upcoming projects, which includes work on sewers and storm sewers.

Rob Crisfield, Village manager of operations, explained to council at a meeting in August why the costs are different than anticipated. Council had approved projects already as part of its budget process.

“We can pull some extra funding from reserves to get this done now,” he said. “The challenge is the prices keep going up.”

One of the issues is delays to work related to the COVID-19 outbreak, along with subsequent uncertainty over how competitive bids in the construction industry could be or the ability for bidders to complete projects. With rising construction costs too, staff have reviewed the budget and determined that funding is insufficient.

The staff report notes the construction market has seemed to recover quickly and that it made sense for the Village to issue a tender for the work, in part to determine what bid pricing would look like.

For the tender put out earlier this year, there were a number of roads, sewers or storm sewers bundled together. This includes work on a section of Maryport Avenue, a lane north of Dunsmuir, Sixth Street, a storm sewer installation and water main replacement for two sections of First Street and road reconstruction on Derwent Avenue.

“That road’s in really rough shape,” Crisfield said.

There are also plans to improve drainage around the museum.

Council approved the additional scope of the work along Windermere Avenue. This is to include full road reconstruction from the school to Second Street and the extension of the storm sewer up Second Street.

‘The Windermere project kind of was two separate projects that kind of morphed into one, and then there was some additional scope added,” Crisfield said, adding these can be tied in with sidewalk upgrades on Windermere.

For the work, the Village received five bids. Council supported the staff recommendation to award the work to Leuco Construction, which submitted the lowest bid. It approved a motion covering the mandatory work worth $820,312 and $282,923 for the additional score of work.

There are also plans for resurfacing the south section of Union and Comox Lake Road, to extend the life of these roads. Of the latter, Coun. Gwyn Sproule said, “I see it so much, and it is a terrible mess in places.”

READ MORE: Cumberland tackles funding for wastewater site, firehall

The report for council notes staff had researched micro-surfacing treatment used in other communities, which could extend the lifespan of the roads seven to 10 years. A four-year program had been included in the budget. However, prices have jumped dramatically and are beyond the budget for 2020. As a result, staff has recommended using chip seal treatment, which costs about half the cost of micro-surfacing.

Sproule asked how some of the larger holes in the road will be fixed using chip seal. Crisfield responded that part of their plan will include hot asphalt patching or gravel fill where the shoulder has fallen off, which happens before final surfacing work.

“The road won’t be perfect, but the intent is to seal the road and gain some more longevity out of it,” he added.

Council approved awarding Shades Contracting the contract for $97,859 to cover the work on the two roads.

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