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Roads projects continue but COVID-19 has changed public consultation

City has closed 24 contracts valued at $50 million so far this year
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The COVID-19 pandemic has ground many businesses to a halt across the province and here in Sudbury, but the city's capital projects have been moving forward at a steady pace. (File)

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has ground many businesses to a halt across the province and here in Sudbury, but the city's capital projects have been moving forward at a steady pace.

Greater Sudbury's director of engineering services, David Shelsted, provided city council with a capital projects update on May 19, highlighting the more than 20 contracts that have been closed so far this year.

In total the city has closed 24 contracts to date, valued at over $50 million.

Some of the contracts highlighted by Shelsted included the Paris-Notre Dame active transportation project, valued at $2.68 million, asphalt rehabilitation on Skead Road, MR55, Desmarais Road and MR 80, valued at just over $5 million, and the Vermillion River bridge on MR55, valued at nearly $6.5 million.

Roads make up the largest portion of the city's capital projects, with a total of $55 million in road contract work planned for the year. To date, the city has closed $25.2 million worth of roads contracts, with more to follow in the coming months.

"We still have several contracts to tender, there are some notable ones that have yet to be posted," said Shelsted.

"Of course MR35, the second phase going from Notre Dame west to Highway 144, will be tendered later this summer. We also have a stormwater management treatment facility on McNaughton Terrace, and we have several asphalt rehabilitation projects to be tendered."

Some of those asphalt rehabilitation projects still to be tendered include Auger Avenue from Hawthorne Drive to Falconbridge Road, and Westmount Avenue from Hawthorne Drive to Fielding Street.

Though the city has been moving forward in tendering and closing contracts, the process has not been without its bumps in the road as staff have had to make some changes in response to COVID-19.

"With COVID-19 our world has changed, we can no longer do the things we were doing in the past," said Shelsted. 

"The biggest thing is the changing approach to public consultation. Typcially on a construction project we would have an open house where we would meet with residents in the local community and discuss one-on-one some of their issues on the construction site; that's no longer possible for us. What we've done is we've worked with communications to enhance our outreach to the community using other formats. We've enhanced the notices that we provide to the public and we've enhanced what we have on our website for construction projects."

Residents can view the list of 2020 construction projects and find out what work is being done in their neighbourhood here. The city has also been proactive in their advanced notice of construction programs on the ground level, posting signs at the locations of upcoming road projects up to a week before they start.

Greater Sudbury has closed $11.85 million of their $19 million in planned bridge work contracts, $9.6 million of $22 million in water/wastewater projects and $2.7 of $3.4 million of active transportation contracts.

In addition, the city has a number of contracts that have been carried over from 2019, including Dean Avenue, Fairburn Street, Elm Street, Dominon Drive, Maley Drive and varios locations for asphalt and final restoration.




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Matt Durnan

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