On the heels of a $62 million federal and provincial grant announcement, the Comox Valley Regional District has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a design-build contractor to deliver a new water system for Comox Valley residents.
“After three years of extensive planning, and Wednesday’s exciting announcement from the Government of Canada and Province of BC, we are happy to be moving forward with the next step in our process – selecting a team of consultants and contractors to design and construct a modern water treatment system that our residents deserve,” CVRD chair Bob Wells said.
The grant will support two projects. The Comox Valley Water Treatment Project, which will be operational in 2021, includes a new lake intake, raw water pump station, raw water pipeline, treated water pipeline and a new water treatment plant with filtration and disinfection. A second project, announced in September, will also benefit from the grant. The Water Service (South) Extension Project will service K’ómoks First Nation lands to the south of Royston. Funding for the project will be provided by KFN and other potential users of the future system.
Funding breakdown for the projects includes more than $34.3 million from the federal government and $28.6 million from the Province, through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The CVRD will contribute $54.9 million. The KFN and other potential users will commit $7.4 million to the South Extension Project.
The latter is in the preliminary planning phase. The Water Treatment Project is considered shovel-ready. The CVRD is using the design-build method to deliver the project, meaning it will contract with a single team for design and construction of the system. In addition to minimizing risks for the CVRD, design-build reduces the delivery schedule by overlapping the design and construction phases of the project.
“Our team has been hard at work since receiving public support for the project in March and a lot has been accomplished, including land acquisitions, permitting approvals and the signing of the regional water mutual benefit agreement with the K’ómoks First Nation. This was all undertaken in anticipation of secured funding, so that we would be ready to move forward to construction as quickly as possible for this high-priority project,” Wells said.
The RFP has been issued to three pre-qualified proponents, who will spend the next six months preparing proposals based on detailed project specifications. The proponents will work collaboratively with the CVRD’s project team as they complete their proposals which are due in May. The CVRD anticipates awarding the contract to the successful proponent in July.
Some construction-related activities, such as land clearing, are expected to begin in late 2019 while detailed design is finalized. Infrastructure construction will get underway in 2020 with project completion expected in May 2021.
The public will be invited to provide input into the look and feel of the new treatment plant and pump station at a design workshop early in 2019. Residents will also be asked what amenities they might like available at the site of the treatment plant, to facilitate use of nearby trails along the Puntledge River. Feedback will be provided to the proponents to incorporate into their final proposals. Opportunities for public engagement will be posted at www.connectcvrd.ca/WaterTreatment