Tbnewswatch Local News
Friday July 3 2015
6:41 AM EDT
2014-04-08 at 15:09

Councillors raise concerns before approving multi-million road contracts

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

City council approved millions of dollars worth of contracts Monday night, but not without some concerns.

The six contracts came in just under $13 million, overall more than $696,000 under budget, for street and sidewalk repairs, water main replacements and the Valley Street project.

McIntyre Coun. Trevor Giertuga wanted to know if there was any way the city could increase the thickness of asphalt on the roads. Meanwhile, Coun. Andrew Foulds wanted to know if there's any warranty on road work done.

Both councillors told city hall that they’ve received complaints shortly after a project is complete.

"It just seems roads done a few years back are in horrible shape," Giertuga said.

Engineering manager Pat Mauro said there are standards for how thick asphalt is on a road. As for warranties, it's typically a year.

Answers led to more questions from councillors, with Coun. Linda Rydholm asking if there were penalities associated with a project being overdue.

Mauro confirmed that there are. Those penalties are technically known as liquidated damages, and are about $1,000 for every day a project is late.

Coun. Larry Hebert wanted the city to look into raising that rate. Mauro said administration could do that but would then also have to reward bonuses for early completions.

Council also heard that the Boulevard Lake dam rehabilitation project would be put on hold for another year. Originally expected last year, the original $3.3 million estimate was too low once tenders came in, delaying the project.

With an estimate of $3.6 million bids were again too high for this year, the lowest tender coming in at more than $5 million. Foulds, who represents Current River, said the project is important for his ward and the entire city. It's frustrating that once again repairs won't be done he said. 

The contracts include:

  • $3.7 million to Taranis Contracting Group for asphalt rehabilitation
  • $1.3 million to Prime Terra Group for sidewalks, street lighting and traffic signals
  • $1.8 million to Menei Bros. Contracting for sewer and watermain replacements
  • $1.5 million for Main Rehabilitation Incorporated for mortar lining of cast iron watermains
  • $2.1 million to Makkinga Contracting and Equipment Rentals for other sewer and watermain replacements
  • $2.4 million to Pioneer Construction for Valley Street widening and reconstruction

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The Beaver..... says:
This is great going...and its paramount
to telling contractors he guys wake up
you could have got and extra 969.000
If that was in private business somebody would be looking for employment right now, and rightfully so.
4/10/2014 11:01:56 AM
Eastender says:
I'm sure that this stuff goes on in this city too. An investigation is long overdue .
Maybe when they're done in Quebec, the RCMP will find time to come here.
4/10/2014 11:58:32 PM
Lykarock says:
Still find that it is funny that the City needs to borrow 8 million to complete Golf Links Road. I agree with the comment that we need to fix our roads before we waste money on an over priced event center. I don't think its right for the City to compete agianst the rpivate sector that pays them taxes. Kind of like a conflict of interest ??
4/9/2014 1:48:33 PM
S Duncan says:
Its not a conflict of interest if you're a communist. Which is exactly what this city is becoming with all its government fluffing of "projects".

Private industry is dead in Thunder Bay and now only relies on government fluffing, but the me me me group is all for it.
4/9/2014 5:04:20 PM
bttnk says:
Budgetary figures are arbitrary unless the City of Thunder Bay supply management staff along with engineers, have done a comprehensive market analysis in conjunction with the budgeting cycle. I am certain that is not always the case.
4/9/2014 11:46:59 AM
coffeshoppolitician says:
I hope the god-foresaken cow path we call Water street is in there somewhere.
4/9/2014 9:32:27 AM
djs says:
So the work is "supposed to be" almost 700,000 under budget...Don't gloat to much yet. Let's see if it is still under budget once it is done. Roads only have a warranty of one year? Almost 4 million in costs and the company only warranties its work for one year...how sad. Nothing seems to last as long as it did in the past....why is that? It costs so much more now, but there is no pride in the quality of the work??? A new road should have a warranty of at least 10 years...
4/9/2014 9:04:32 AM
reese says:
Fur traders founded both cities the beaver likes swamp and muskeg for their way of life
Never seen a beaver in the desert so we have to live with rough roads and flooded basements
4/8/2014 11:35:23 PM
virtualrealityczech says:
So the bids for the dam came in high... or did the city under-estimate the work required to do the job?

Roads contracts came in $696,000.... the dam project estimates came in $300,000 more than the city anticipated... seems if they shuffled some papers, everything would get done.

And maybe save some for next year's snow removal budget too.
4/8/2014 11:18:54 PM
Conker2012 says:
You failed to read comprehend the details in the story.

The cities estimated budget was 3.6 Million, the lowest bid from the contractors came in at $5 million. A difference of 1.4 Million.
4/10/2014 4:42:50 PM
livewire says:
Just a suggestion but why doesn't the city get the payers to add a bit move granular material into the mix. There such a thing as road mix and drive way mix a few years back. Plus where are the city engineers on these multimillion projects to keep a watch on these contractors!
4/8/2014 9:31:46 PM
pylon says:
Cracking is usually caused by structural failure (insufficient compaction, some kind of road base/sub base issue). Asphalt for roads would likely be some kind of superpave mix which would be then be QA/QC on site and at the batch plant, usually the asphalt itself isn't the issue.. It's typically a compaction problem, drainage problem.. Some kind of structure problem.

TL;DR Asphalt is expensive and usually really well documented during installation.
4/8/2014 11:02:27 PM
grs says:
"It just seems roads done a few years back are in horrible shape," Giertuga said.

A few years back? Try a few months back. Onion lake road had cracks all the way across it as of February this winter. Total elapsed time from resurfacing...less than 6 months.
4/8/2014 7:46:24 PM
onebyside says:
$696,000 under budget...where are the "whiners"??
4/8/2014 6:43:46 PM
JubJub says:
That's great, except when these contracts are actually finished they will all be over-budget so maybe, just maybe we will break even for once.
4/9/2014 10:11:13 AM
S Duncan says:
they call themselves the infrastructure council but they didn't know the answers to these basic questions?
4/8/2014 5:36:01 PM
zachm1 says:
Typical City Hall
Question funding for a crumbling infrastructure, but we really need that 100 million dollar + events center. Our Mayor and council make me puke.
4/8/2014 3:44:17 PM
sky high says:
No, the councillors were wanting to make sure that the contractors were doing their due diligence regarding work, including the thickness of the asphalt and a warranty on work done. So the city doing its due diligence makes you puke? I think you should move out of town
4/8/2014 5:41:10 PM
Today1 says:
I didn't know that the City has a Media Rep (or wannabe)working for them. I thought they did a pretty good job of voicing there own opinions...I don't think that they need your help....unless you are their hired voice??
4/9/2014 12:33:30 AM
donnybrook says:
Yes, the best time to ask such questions is AFTER years of already completed contracts, right? Are these councilors new to the business world? You ask these questions before awarding the contracts, not after they are finished. You don't buy a new car and ask about a warranty two years later when it breaks down. Puke ++
4/9/2014 9:36:33 AM
sky high says:
They are asking them BEFORE the future contracts because obviously the contractors have not done their due diligence, as contractors all over the world DO NOT do their due diligence all the time. Donnybrook, you're probably upset about the Events Centre and you're emotional. Read the article and digest it before commenting please. And you also can move if you don't like what's going on here
4/9/2014 11:52:35 AM
donnybrook says:
I couldn't care less about the events centre actually. Build it, don't build it, its not of interest to me. As for the article, you're aware its the same handful of contractors doing the same work in the city for the last many years, right? So while you may have interpreted the councilors line of questioning as "new", they're dealing with the same old contractors who have answered the same old questions time and time again.
4/9/2014 2:45:47 PM
TBDR says:
baseless comments like yours make me puke...
4/9/2014 1:14:34 PM
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