High bids forces Paradise to split tender

By Mark Squibb
September 22, 2023 Edition

The Town of Paradise is moving forward with the addition of a raised crosswalk on Karwood Road despite an early hitch in the project.

The Town had initially budgeted $250,000 for traffic calming measures along both Topsail Road and Karwood Drive. The work was to include reconstruction of two crosswalks, one at the Topsail Road Marie’s Mini Mart across from Octagon Pond and the other on Karwood Drive near Paradise Elementary, and installation of a pedestrian island at the Topsail Road crosswalk. Following a traffic accident at the Topsail Road crosswalk earlier this year, a new replacement pole and light system was added to the scope of work, as well as a reconfiguration of the lights as recommend by a traffic consultant.

When the bids came back well over budget earlier this summer (the lowest was nearly double the budget at $443,900, while the highest came in at $722,922), council decided to cancel the project and tender the projects separately, with the Karwood Drive crosswalk upgrades to be tendered in 2023 and the Topsail Road upgrades tendered in 2024.

During the September 5 meeting, councillor Deborah Quilty explained that to achieve this, the engineering consultant, Pinnacle Engineering, revised the drawings to create two separate packages, and had submitted a change notice of $1,150, HST included, for completing the revision.

The motion to approve the revision was approved unanimously.

Councillor Glen Carew asked whether construction would begin this construction season. Quilty explained that while the tender closed on August 30, bids still need to be evaluated and brought to council for approval.

The lone bid, submitted by Farrells Construction in the amount of $150,360, HST included, was brought before council during this week’s meeting for approval.

Council unanimously approved awarding the contract.

“This is another great safety and traffic calming addition in the town,” said councillor Patrick Martin. “I look forward to this one getting done on Karwood Drive. It’s definitely needed up there, it’s a high traffic area. The addition of a raised crosswalk on Karwood is going to go a long way for the general safety of the public.”

Last year, council spent just over $90,000 to improve a crosswalk along Karwood Drive to ensure easier and safer access to the T’railway by adding a pedestrian island, signage, and pedestrian activated lights. That project had initially been budgeted at $75,000, and money had to be taken from the road rehabilitation budget to finish the project when it went over budget.

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