Council Unanimously Approves Increase in 2016 Road Construction

I’d like to thank members of the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works for their diligent work towards capitalizing on positive market conditions to maximize value for taxpayer dollars in our road investments; the Public Works Department for accommodating the requests; and all members of City Council for unanimously voting to approve two reports enabling more roadwork in the 2016 construction season.

In early May, 2016, the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works was made aware of very competitive concrete and asphalt pricing in response to roadwork tenders.  Meetings were held with the Director of Public Works, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, and the City’s Chief Administration Officer and Chief Operating Officer.  The Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works discussed opportunities to maximize the competitive prices.

The following factors were taken into consideration in requesting two reports from the Winnipeg Public Service regarding the increase of construction during the 2016 season:

  1. Provincial Highways Capital program for 2016-2017 has been reduced by $48 Million – a 10% reduction of their overall plan
  2. The new Federal Government’s priorities related to bridges and roads has not been finalized for the 2016 construction season
  3. As per the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association – in 25 years, MHCA has not seen contractors laying off crews mid-season and asking for additional work
  4. As per the Director of Public Works, and his 30 yrs working in the field, he has never seen such competitive pricing for road works
  5. Fuel prices are trending lower than previous years, which plays significantly into cost of construction
  6. The capacity ability of industry, when releasing additional projects in mid-July
  7. The projected City of Winnipeg 2017 road construction budget is $96 Million
  8. Anticipation of a less competitive market in the 2017 construction season due to major projects underway:
    • St. James Street
    • Northbound Pembina Highway
    • Waverley Underpass
    • Bus Rapid Transit – Jubilee Underpass

Today’s City Council Meeting

The two reports which were unanimously approved today to increase road work in the 2016 construction season are as follows:

1.  2016 Capital Surplus Funds Locations Report

The Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works requested the Public Works Department to prepare a list of roads and sidewalks that could be constructed IF there was a surplus in the 2016 budget. The estimated value is approx. $8 Million.

The department prepared a 2016 Capital Surplus Funds Locations report recommending streets that require minimal engineering and construction, which could be done late in the 2016 construction season.  If weather delays construction, the 2016 prices will be held and the contractors will construct in the 2017 season.

Optimistically by mid-August, the department will know if there is a surplus, and if there is, will select from these projects (click on chart below to increase its size):

roadworks 2016 v2

 

2.  First Charge on 2017 Capital Budget to Undertake Additional Local Street Renewal in 2016

The Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works requested the Public Works Department to add one additional local road in each of the 15 City wards to existing projects, or to select a road in close proximity to existing road construction projects for the 2016 construction season.

The department prepared a First Charge on the 2017 Capital Budget report recommending roads that require nominal engineering and would be added on to existing tendered projects. The estimated value of the 15 roads is approx. $8 Million. If weather conditions cause delays in construction, the 2016 prices will be held and the contractors will construct in the 2017 season.

These roads are approved for upgrades in the 2016 construction season (click on chart below to increase its size):

Roadwork in 2016 - first call on 2017 budget

In conclusion, an approximate $16 Million of additional roadwork will be added to the previously approved $105 Million of 2016 roadwork.

Please drive carefully in construction zones!

 

 

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