Costs increase for 2014 sidewalk, curb and gutter work (updated)

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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Duane Grado, public works manager, speaks about road repairs at the March 10, 2014 council meeting.

Costs for Mid-West Concrete and Paving Stone Ltd. to do repairs for this year’s sidewalk, curb and gutter work have gone up six per cent since 2013.

The costs for the company to do new sidewalk, curb and gutter work has increased eight per cent since 2012.

“Very few people have come forward. We did tender it out,” said Duane Grado, public works manager. “It is an increase from 2012.”

Council awarded the local company a sole source contract to do new infrastructure work on sidewalks, curbs and gutters in subdivision development as well as repairing existing sidewalks, curbs and gutters at Monday’s meeting.

Mid-West Concrete and Paving Stone Ltd. has done this work for the city for the past 31 years.

“Basically, the new work in Moose Jaw for 2014 will be the roadway and all concrete adjacent to the new hospital. So that is the single project that the contract takes care of,” said Grado. “The second contract is the repairs and the repairs are both operating and capital.”

He added the last tender that went out for this work was in 2013. Mid-West Concrete and Paving Stone Ltd. was the only company to bid.

Coun. Dawn Luhning said it’s unfortunate there were no other bids on the work to “see if that price is outrageous or not.”

“This is kind of the rock and a hard place that I guess we get into with the sole source contract,” she said. “Eight per cent increase seems quite high to me, but I mean I’m certainly not in that industry and honestly don’t know the rationale for that … those are high increases for us, but the work has to be done.”

The city has only ever received a single bid for this work except in 2002. In that year, Mid-West Concrete and Paving Stone Ltd. had the lowest bid that was 27.5 per cent lower than the next lowest bid.

According to an engineering department report, sidewalks need to be poured manually because of “unsuitable soil conditions in the northern area” of Moose Jaw.

“The manual method of installing sidewalks and a machine for curb and gutter is used to provide resistance to cracks that are common in clay soils,” it said. “The costs for manually installed sidewalks versus mechanically poured sidewalks are generally higher due to additional labour costs that are inherent.”

It added unit costs for concrete are “increasing substantially” because of increases in materials, steel and labour.

“Work volume in other cities is substantially higher than in Moose Jaw,” said the report. “Shortage of skilled manpower is a problem in concrete related construction.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Mid-West Concrete and Paving Stone

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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