Current Weather
1.5°C Sunny 1 km/h
Full Forecast
Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday May 22 2015
9:02 AM EDT
2014-03-04 at MIDNIGHT

Work approved

City engineering manager Pat Mauro.
Jamie Smith,
City engineering manager Pat Mauro.
By Jamie Smith,

While they had concerns, city council approved nearly $1 million for a major road project that went over budget.

The first phase of Golf Links Road is now more than $7.8 million after more material was needed than original estimates called for. City engineering manager Pat Mauro told council Monday night that Golf Links was one of the largest road projects the city has done. Most of the cost overruns had to do with more pavement and gravel needed for intersections like the one at Harbour Expressway.

Coun. Andrew Foulds said the city trusts consultant and engineering reports to reflect the cost council is given.

“I’m disappointed that we seem to be so far under the estimate,” he said.

Coun. Larry Hebert said he’s received calls from the public that the pavement is already cracking. Coun. Rebecca Johnson asked if that’s normal.

“It’s a brand new road that cost several million one has to question how it was built,” she said.

Mauro said he drives the road every day and hasn’t seen any problems but crews will review the work in the spring.

A report to council stated that despite the Golf Links project being over budget, over more than a decade engineering projects show a favourable variance of $4.4 million. 

The overrun was supposed to delay around $540,000 in road work for Leslie Avenue and Brown Street until 2015. But councillors voted to take money from the Renew Thunder Bay to make sure the work is done this year.

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error


We've improved our comment system.
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
CASH APPROVED is more accurate...who says the work will get done....
3/5/2014 11:46:49 AM
dynamiter says:
A lot of people are dumping on the contractor for exceeding the contract- a lot of people are dumping on city administration for allowing these types of contracts, in most cases they are incorrect. A legitimate dump could be on the engineering department for not doing a good job of investigating what work actually needs to be contracted. But there is a cost benefit analysis to be done there as well. How much investigation do you want to do and what is the cost of that. I think that the city did this project very well and the contractor did a good job and his people and equipment seemed to always be working and not sitting around. As long as all the work was done that was needed to the standard required and the contractor made his required profit and not a cent more and the city got the job done for the money that they needed to spend, then it is a win - win. Some jobs are more complicated than they may seem to be.
3/4/2014 5:04:35 PM
taekat says:
The frost has definitely taken to the new portion of the road, especially beside the golf course - you can see the heave in the asphalt - let's hope that the grade and material are to spec and the asphalt settles back down - if not we will some major problems.
3/4/2014 1:24:25 PM
mystified says:
That section of road is way better than it use to be.
I'm amazed at the amount of unemployed civil engineers who comment on the construction projects in this town.
3/4/2014 11:44:27 AM
fastball says:
With the amount of salt dumped on our roads during the winter, pavement deterioration is inevitable.
When it's -25C outside, and you see standing water on the streets - you know that it's been salted to death. The rest is just basic physics...water runs into a tiny crack, freezes, and then expands - forcing that crack wider. Repeat numerous times throughout the winter.
Granted...I'm no engineer, so I can't comment on the initial QUALITY of the paving job - but the amount of salt we use on our streets, combined with the resultant thaw/freeze/expand cycle over the winter - well, you get the picture.
The choice facing us is do we want to spend the money on something OTHER than salt and save the pavement - or continue using the salt and continually replace the pavement every few years. Are there alternatives?
One of the definitions of insanity is to repeat the same experiment over and over again - and expect the results to be different.
3/4/2014 11:35:23 AM
Winger says:
Of course it was approved. do they ever not approve more spending?
3/4/2014 9:44:30 AM
patti says:
"Mauro said he drives the road every day and hasn’t seen any problems"

Maybe he needs to drive around more often in a 1994 Ford or Dodge vs a 2014 Lexus or Acura

3/4/2014 9:37:09 AM
Det John Kimble says:
I have seen no bumnps in the new road, but while you mention it a "Run of the Mill" Lexus and Acura vehiculars are "precision machines", you will feel every bump in a "precision machine". Your "run of the mill" dodge or ford'll be lucky to survive many of the other roads in town.
3/4/2014 5:17:44 PM
fastball says:
But, hey - it's a chance to get a cheap shot in, right?
Throw out some crude, ham-handed insinuation that about Mauro driving a nice imported vehicle (does he?) - and the rest of us poor schlubs having to make do with 20 year-old domestics.
Cheap and baseless innuendo - but sadly, oh-so-typical and perfectly in character.
Stay classy, Tbay...stay classy.
3/5/2014 8:56:10 AM
jasper says:
you don't see a problem with that road? i personally find it problematic that all sewer man holes are placed directly in line with the tire path thus making the outside lanes useless, unless you don't mind the constant thumping as you travel along them.
3/4/2014 9:21:40 AM
The Beaver..... says:
Coun. Andrew Foulds said “I’m disappointed that we seem to be so far under the estimate. Wen this contract was awarded last spring it was made clear that it was open ended, and all over runs would be taken care off when completed.
The Beaver posted here at that time and he said simply " Dear Tax Payers Fasten you Seatbelts.
3/4/2014 9:10:33 AM
theangryone says:
"Coun. Larry Hebert said he’s received calls from the public that the pavement is already cracking. Coun. Rebecca Johnson asked if that’s normal." Only in Thunder Bay it is. It seems they do not put enough....OOMMPH??? the pavement to keep it together. But on the flip side this has been an EXTREMELY cold winter. But on the flip, flip side, there should be a guarantee that it lasts longer than 5 months.
3/4/2014 9:06:27 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
So what is new about this? Another project done by the city that was over budget! What are the odds?
3/4/2014 8:59:21 AM
Watchmaker says:
I drive the new Golf Links every day and the 4 lanes are a vast improvement, as are the lights at Central. While some have complained about those lights, they are an important safety feature and greatly improve traffic flow from Central south onto Golf Links. I have not seen significant cracking or pothole development and this has been a particularly harsh winter. We will see what spring will bring. They have NOT fixed the one remaining low manhole cover in the right hand southbound lane in the intersection of Golf Links and Central for some reason.
3/4/2014 7:28:37 AM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
what a joke!

Why the cost overruns ALWAYS happen I'll never know...

Do they not know their jobs to do it right the 1st time?
3/4/2014 7:22:32 AM
Tiredofit says:
A company needs to learn to accept the overruns, you gave us a bid at a fixed price, live up to it. If they city can't predict the needed requirements, then hire someone who can. Someone dropped the ball to the tune of a million bucks.
3/4/2014 6:05:59 AM
conker2012 says:
To bad you have no idea what you are talking about. This was not a fixed contract, it was a cost per unit contract with an estimated value. The city only pays for what material was used, nothing more nothing less. When you are dealing with excavation contracts what is underground isn't always known or could be known without significant testing costs.

The city could have gone the old way of a fixed contract, but then you would only get what we paid for. If the specs say take off 2 feet of over burden and replace with gravel that is what we would get, but if at 2 feet there is marsh mud or muskeg (as is common in this area) you would need to replace this bad material with something sufficient to support the load of the road above. In a fixed contract these are called change orders and they cost WAYYYYYYY more. Change orders are typically costs plus markup, in a per unit contract they are simply prorated change of the base cost of material. A road is not a house, different contracts.
3/4/2014 11:29:28 AM
chezhank says:
@ S Duncan
Thanks for informing them!

S Duncan says:
what about re-new Thunder Bay?
surely we can use that money for the silly infrastructure we call roads?
3/1/2014 9:44:35 AM
54 Agree$1M-short
3/4/2014 4:36:21 AM
S Duncan says:
You're welcome.

maybe when you are the mayor and I'm on council we can do more work together?

starting with dropping the ax on municipal over-reach and over spending.
3/4/2014 2:11:13 PM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In