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Tottenham pipeline construction set for the spring

April 3, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

After years of planning, the Town of New Tecumseth is moving ahead with construction on a brand new multi million dollar water pipeline for Tottenham.

A motion was unanimously passed to award the Tottenham transmission main and associated work tender to Avertex Utility for $14.7 million, plus HST, with an unfavourable variance of $4.7 million.

Construction on the 9.2 kilometre pipeline could commence as early as the end of April with an expected completion date of December 2021. Testing and commissioning of the Tottenham transmission main would follow in spring of 2022.

“It’s been long five years . . . or just shy of five years when I first had a deputation to Council to push for an extension to the pipeline,” said Ward 8 Councillor Allan Lacey.

“Although it has taken quite a long time, we can see the end of the tunnel, there’s light, there’s water that we’re going to have,” he continued. “I’m sure many of the residents in Tottenham are appreciative we’re making something happen.”

The Town was able to reduce the cost of the construction from $17.7 million to $14.7 million by reducing the project’s scope, without altering water flow or the purpose of the pipeline, noted Director of Engineering Rick Vatri.

The primary reduction in cost was through the elimination of a water main along Queen Street that would have cost approximately $1.7 million.

Three other areas of savings were achieved by removing gate valves and only installing air relief valves in the pipeline’s chambers, removing requirements for the relocation of a site trailer, and using the current access road instead of constructing a new one.

“Staff is confident that the Town has received competitive pricing on the project as the two lowest bids are within four percent of each other,” Vatri explained. “This shows the tendered price is reflective of the costs to construct the works.”

Councillor Lacey said he’s very pleased with how the project has come together.

“Director Vatri, you and your team have done an excellent job of making this cost efficient without sacrificing any of the [water] quality or quantity,” he lauded.

Meanwhile, Ward 7 Councillor Shira Harrison-McIntryre asked Town staff if there was any way to further reduce the cost of the nearly $15 million project and put it back to tender.

“The changes that we made were minor in nature,” noted Vatri.

“I think for the Town to be operating in good faith, for us to re-tender this project we’d need to do some substantive reengineering of the project and maybe some value engineering, we’ve looked at it high level. There could potentially be some other things,” he added.

“Everything we’ve looked at generally would lead us back to the pipe size, and I think there are some negatives to going down that route.”

Councillor Harrison-McIntyre said she’s also cognizant of not wanting to delay the project any further, but hopes Town staff can utilize directional drilling technology for construction in the future to save money.

“I’m concerned that this [pipeline], it’s only nine kilometres yet the cost of it is quite substantial,” she remarked.


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