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Contractor makes $622,100 arithmetic error in bid to fix Wellington underpass

Job expected to go instead to Hamilton-based Carlington Construction Inc.
2018-10-10 underpass flooding-Jenn Kaustinen 4
Flooded underpass on Wellington West in October, 2018. Photo submitted by Jenn Kaustinen

Sault Ste. Marie City Council is expected to award a contract on Monday for additional repairs to the problematic Wellington Street underpass.

The job is expected to go to Carlington Construction Inc. from Hamilton, which had the lowest among five bids at $346,996.

George Stone & Sons originally had the second-lowest bid, but sharp eyes at the civic centre noticed a $622,100 arithmetic error in the Stone bid, which was recalculated to $952,551.

The Stone & Sons miscalcuation was itself larger than any of the five tenders submitted.

The successful Carlington bid was nonetheless $96,996 more than the 2017 pre-tender estimate of $250,000.

A recent biennial bridge inspection found concrete repairs were needed to the centre support piers and the southwest parapet wall of the CN Rail underpass.

Delaminated concrete will be removed from the centre support columns, which will then be sandblasted and refaced, with possible replacement of corroded reinforcing steel.

The parapet wall, which separates the sidewalk from the roadway, was damaged when it was struck by a vehicle.

Under a 1960 agreement, costs to maintain the bridge are shared equally between the city and the railway.

When HST and engineering costs are factored in, total cost of the project will be $409,403, of which the city’s share will be $204,702.

The work is expected to take 10 weeks.

Repairs were originally to be completed by Dec. 19 but it’s now considered too late to start this year.

Work is now expected to start on Apr. 14, 2020 with a completion date of June 26.

That part of Wellington Street will closed during the construction.

Tulloch Engineering, retained by the city to provide design and contract administration on the project, says it’s unfamiliar with Carlington’s work, but adds: “We have reviewed their submitted experience summaries and have spoken with some of the named references and are satisfied Carlington Construction Inc. has the required experience and personnel to complete the project in a timely and acceptable manner.”

The Shaw Spotlight broadcast of Monday’s City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.

David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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