The tender process for the Main Street reconstruction project is complete and there will need to be some decisions made at the council level on how to proceed with the lowest bid coming in at more than $1 million above the budgeted amount.
See related: City puts Main Street reconstruction project out to tender
"Staff is now reviewing the details of the tender submissions to ensure they meet the specified criteria and will be looking at options to present to council in light of the bids coming in higher than estimated," says Gord Young, the City of North Bay's communications officer.
According to the City, the overall project cost, including $340,000 for engineering and design plus contingencies, was estimated at a total of $7.6 million in the 2023 budget. That includes $690,000 in NOHFC funding and approximately $3 million in Ontario Community infrastructure funding (OCIF). In this scenario, the cost to taxpayers is about $4 million.
In March 2022, the construction cost was pegged at $6.2 million.
The City received five bids for the construction phase ranging from a low of $8.85 million to a high of $10.53 million:
- MCA Contracting Ltd. (Sudbury): $8,850,335
- Kenalex Construction Co. Ltd. (North Bay): $8,898,310
- Dominion Construction (Capreol): $9,158,758
- Canor Construction (North Bay): $9,630,975
- Ed Seguin and Sons Trucking and Paving Ltd (West Nipissing): $10,539,419
It was hoped the Main Street reconstruction — already delayed one year at the request of members of Downtown North Bay & Waterfront — would get underway this summer.
See related: City asked to push $6.2M Main Street project to 2023 as downtown businesses recover from pandemic
Once the staff report is presented, council members will decide whether the project should proceed at the higher than anticipated cost; whether the project can be scaled back; or, if the project should be delayed or scrapped altogether.
The planned work involves the reconstruction of Main Street from Cassells Street to Sherbrooke Street and Ferguson Street from Main Street to Oak Street, as outlined in the North Bay Downtown Waterfront Master Plan (DWMP).
See also: Report: Main Street 'beyond rehabilitation'
The work will involve replacement of surface infrastructure including a new asphalt roadway, brushed concrete and exposed aggregate sidewalks, curb and gutter, retaining walls, stairs, railings, benches, traffic lights, festoon lighting and other ancillary works. It would be the first major renovation to Main Street in nearly 40 years.
It is possible this sort of underestimation of contractor bids could figure into the advancement of the new community and recreation centre, as that project prepares to enter its own tender process.