Oliver’s council will have to decide whether to up their budget or wait before going forward with rehabilitation work on the Fairview bridge.
The lowest bid of $358,516.50 for the contract that came back is $90,016.50 above what the town had budgeted for the work.
That bid is just under $300,000 less than the middle bid of $657,435.00.
According to the report to council for their meeting on May 10, staff have worked with two different engineering companies over the last three years on plans to start rehabilitating the bridge to extend its lifespan.
The 155-foot bridge was built in 1955 and inherited by the town from the Ministry of Transportation in 2003.
The rehabilitation work would include the removal of the lead-based paint off the top metre of the steel girders, work on a fish window, repainting, traffic control and repairs to some of the concrete surface on the bridge.
The staff also attached an engineering report with two explanations as to why the bids came in higher than expected.
The first is that the low may have misunderstood the accessibility requirements to get at the paint on the bridge’s underside.
The other main reason offered is that the chosen method of rehabilitating the bridge by removing the lead-based paint may have been underestimated in the difficulty and costs. The method was chosen to reduce the environmental risks associated with removing and containing the lead paint particles.
The engineering report also cited the high demand on construction services province-wide as a potential driver for the higher bids.
Council will weigh whether to go with the lowest bid, or to hold off an potentially wait until the next summer when conditions on the Okanagan River make accessing the bridge for work possible.
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