Busy construction season cited as one reason for increase in Dunlop Street renewal

Giving downtown Barrie a streetscape facelift is going to cost more than originally thought, as city staff advised council the work will require an additional $2.58 million.
That brings the grand total for the work (from Toronto to Mulcaster streets) from $10.52 million to $13.1 million. Council approved the increase at its July 9 meeting.
The project, which had already been approved by council, had to be revisited as the increase exceeded 10 per cent of the original budget, or $500,000. Only two bids were submitted for the work and staff outlined some of the possible reasons for the increase, which included a busy construction season. Others identified were:
• Inclusion of additional requirements since the consultant’s estimate related to requirements for business disruption mitigation, 24-hour site monitoring, requirement for a project ambassador/public relations officer, and two safety ambassadors
• Number of bidders – only two bids were received. This could be due to market conditions and the challenging nature of the project
• It should be noted that the City of Toronto has launched its busiest construction season ever according to the Daily Commercial News
• Underestimation of the costs of some of the contract items by the design consultant.
Council’s approval was required before July 12 so that the work could proceed with the original schedule, which has the first phase of the project beginning in September. If approval had not been given, the work would have had to wait until 2020.
The work will proceed in three phases:
• Phase 1A – Section between east of Mulcaster Street to just east of Owen Street will commence Sept. 10, stopping by Nov. 8. This phase will be completed early in 2020, as weather permits 
• Phase 1B – Owen Street intersection culvert, Owen Street intersection to Bayfield Street and Five Points intersection. This work is to start after the first phase is done
• Phase 2 – Section between Bayfield and Toronto streets, planned following the completion of phase 1B.
The original budget included $300,000 from the downtown BIA, over six years, and $345,000 from the tourism reserve. A further $87,846 is to come from the water capital reserve, $382,882 from the wastewater capital reserve, $14,033 and $111,173 from the tax capital reserve and tax funded debt, respectively. 
According to staff, the additional funds will come from these reserves through reductions from other Capital Projects in the 2019 Capital Plan.
The project includes a reconfigurable streetscape that maintains two-way traffic and parking areas that can be used for either pedestrian space or parking, depending on time of year and demand. Plans call for a focus on pedestrian safety and accessibility, better lighting, visibility, and service opportunities for businesses along the strip, such as on-road/boulevard patios.
Infrastructure improvements include water and sewer work. Read the report here.

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