Unexpected costs for Cardiff pool room addition

By Darren Lum

The following are Highlands East briefs from the March 9 council meeting.

Highlands East is looking to re-tender the work related to the Cardiff pool change room addition.

While visiting the construction site recently, Highlands East property manager Jim Alden said cracks were discovered.

“So now they’re recommending a change. They want to put in a new frost wall or whole entire slab,” he said. He adds this is estimated to cost more than $32,000.

CAO and treasurer Shannon Hunter has recommended re-tendering this work because of the “change of scope” for the project.

Progress on South Wilberforce Bridge replacement
After close to a 100 years, the single-lane concrete South Wilberforce Bridge is getting replaced. Presented by Brad Kulas, vice-president Planmac Engineering Inc., the South Wilberforce Bridge replacement project has an estimated suggested budget of $1.729 million (with provincial and federal funding at $1.32 million) and will go out to tender and Stage 2AA (archaeological assessment) in May. The tentative start construction time for a two-lane bridge, which is subject to the assessment, is June 1 and will be completed by Nov. 30, 2021.

“It’s a rather aggressive timeline, but that’s what we’re targeting today subject to anything coming up that would deter from that schedule,” he said.

Before finalizing the design tendering, there will be communication with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and stakeholders such as the First Nations, who will be provided the background reports and engineering drawings, and hold a virtual public information meeting.
This will cause traffic to be diverted from the bridge by using Loop Road and South Wilberforce Road.

The bridge has been tested and revealed to be in need of replacement because of a long list of issues, which include exposed rebar; cracks in the concrete beams and girders; delamination, scaling and cracks in the wing walls and loss of concrete and undermining below the abutments. The cause for the issues is related to age of the single-lane concrete bridge, built in 1926.

Building permit requests double
Building department’s chief building official Laurie Devolin provided numbers showing there is a lot of construction work happening this year, as part of her monthly report to council.

With just two building permits before lockdown in February, the township is making up ground in that respect, doubling what it received the year before.

“Given February’s numbers, it’s starting to be quite busy. We have more than doubled our permits from last year at this time. Up to 15 as opposed to seven last year,” she said.

The amount of money already being invested at this point in the township this year has been close to triple what it was last year.

“Our construction values have leaped considerably and are well ahead of last year’s numbers,” she said.

The 2021 construction values to date are up to $1,821,660 compared to last year’s $567,950.

Vaccinations for fire fighters
While delivering the monthly report for the Highlands East fire department, fire chief Chris Baughman said 12 of his firefighters received the first of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines earlier this month.

“That was a happy surprise that we got [it]. It was last minute,” he said.

He adds this was the result of extra doses available that were set to expire and were offered equally to the fire departments. Firefighters are considered “frontline medical staff” that are eligible to receive a vaccine as part of the province’s phase one. It’s unknown when the next dose will be administered.