Council considers load corridor contribution as costs rise

NOVA Chemicals heavy haul August 2019 (File photo)

Sarnia council will consider contributing its original pledge of $4.7 million to the oversize load corridor project Monday.

A report to council shows the project is now estimated to cost nearly $17 million — up from the 2015 estimate of $12 million.

Mayor Mike Bradley said council is being told he city’s original offering will likely still be required to complete the project, even though they thought it would be slashed thanks to a significant donation from Cestar College in Toronto.

“We were very fortunate with the Cestar contribution for the naming rights of the dock, $4 million dollars is a very generous contribution, that’s made a substantial difference,” said Bradley. “I had hoped that we wouldn’t have to use the city money because of that donation. One of my big priorities for council this term was to get into those secondary streets throughout the community that need to be paved, and we could have allocated those funds to that purpose.”

Bradley is recommending council hold off on making a decision until the cost of the dock — the largest component of the project — is known.

A second request for proposals [RFP] for dock engineering closed January 15, after only one RFP was received the first time. Vendor evaluations are underway.

Phase one of construction is expected to wrap up by the end of March.

Utilities and services on sections of Kimball Road, Plank Road, Churchill Line and McGregor Side Road are being put underground.

The project will create a permanent 26.7 kilometre corridor for the movement of large industrial modules between metal fabrication shops and Sarnia Harbour.