The chair of North Bay City Council's infrastructure and operations committee was pleased to share some good financial news for taxpayers when it comes to the rehabilitation of the long and winding Lees Road, a two-kilometre stretch that runs from Tower Drive at its apex down to Trout Lake Road.
"In our 10-year capital plan, it was last budgeted at about $6 million, in terms of expected cost," said Coun. Chris Mayne. With the tender awarded during Tuesday's regular meeting, "we're actually going to complete the work for $3 million...significantly less than we had expected."
Council approved the $2.7-million rehabilitation contract with Pioneer Construction Inc. and, with design fees, consulting fees, and contingencies, the overall cost of the project comes in at the $3 million figure cited by Mayne, who added some gas tax money received by the municipality will be used. The Pioneer bid was the lowest of four evaluated by the City, is considered fair and reasonable, and provides the best overall value.
"This is another significant road improvement project in the community, added Mayne.
Coun. Mark King, the vice-chair of the committee, pointed out Lees Road is in a sorry state.
"It's a rough, dangerous road, without question," he said. "It's probably one of the roughest roads we have in the whole city. It's about time it is fixed."
According to the associated staff report, "The existing road geometry affects the operations, safety and capacity of the road [and] will be upgraded as part of the project." This includes "safety cable guiderail along the length of the adjacent creek; removal of frost heaves; replacement of corroding culverts; pulverizing of existing asphalt road; two lifts of asphalt paving; installation of asphalt curb; ditching and other ancillary items."
City staff recommended the project proceed because the two-kilometre-long Lees Road has been identified as being near — or at — the end of its useful life and the maintenance needed to keep the road operational continues to increase. Lees Road experiences structural issues, including frost heaves, deteriorating drainage culverts, and safety concerns due to a lack of protection along the adjacent creek.
The City confirms the Lees Road project will commence at the intersection with Tower Drive in September but will avoid conflict with another major contracted road rehabilitation project near the intersection of Lees Road and Trout Lake Road. That work is scheduled to wrap up this September.